ad: M2Ant-1

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2056 for Friday, March 24, 2017

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KB7TBT, Mar 24, 2017.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
ad: Left-3
ad: Subscribe
  1. KB7TBT

    KB7TBT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2056 for Friday, March 24, 2017
    Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2056 with a release date of Friday, March 24 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
    The following is a QST. South African hams take on the rising noise floor. AM mode gets its day in the sun -- and you'll go nuts for the world's smallest homebrew transmitter. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2056 comes your way right now.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: We begin this week's newscast with this report on noise. The noise floor is rising on the bands and so are the efforts at mitigation. In South Africa, a detailed study is about to get under way and the South African Radio League is in search of input and expertise to assist, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.
    JIM: In South Africa, it's time to start making some noise - some complaining noise - to help make the bands more hospitable for amateur radio. The South African Radio League is forming a study group to monitor the rising RF noise floor on the bands and to identify ways to mitigate noise from manmade sources that impacts the radio frequencies.
    The radio league is collecting information from radio amateurs who may have expertise or interest in providing input to the study in preparation for a workshop being held on the 22nd of April. The open meeting will take place at the National Amateur Radio Centre in Cape Town.
    For more details about the workshop on the rising noise floor, or to express interest in being a part of the noise study, send an email to sarlregwg-at-sarl-dot-org-dot-za (
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: Call it a success! The Irish DXpeditioners who went to Nepal are back home, returning with more than 30,000 QSOs completed, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    JEREMY: The Irish DXpedition 9N7NEI reports that it has completed its goal of more than 30,000 QSOs during 10 days of operation before going QRT on March 19. The team's shutdown came just in time - it was right before a major power outage, the team reports on its website. In fact, much of the DXpedition was plagued on and off by power outages, electrical storms and noise issues. There were bright spots however, that had nothing to do with a sky illuminated by lightning: Operators got to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the team's QTH at the Sojourn Himalaya Resort in Nepal. They also played host to a number of guests including three students and their teachers from the Sweden's Sando Rescue College, who had come to learn the logistics of setup and operations, especially with a dozen operators on the air.
    The team is grateful of course for exceeding its QSO goal and counts itself lucky even as it counts those 30,366 contacts. All that remained was the 22-hour trip back to Dublin.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: If you've never tried AM mode, now's your chance. Whatever the age of your rig, this time-honored voice communication mode is about to have an event all its own. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee KB3TZD with more.
    HEATHER: What could be better than high-fidelity amateur radio? Nothing! How about enjoying this through a contest known as the AM Rally, which takes place the weekend of April 1st and 2nd. The weekend of AM QSOs not only pays homage to the oldest form of voice modulation, which predates SSB, but encourages all amateurs - even first-timers who've never used AM mode - to switch their rigs out of SSB. Hams are asked to experience the rich sound their contacts have when their signals contain a carrier with double sideband - perhaps for the first time in their operating careers. The action is happening on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10 and 6 meters and there's an opportunity to earn certificates as well as learn more about this historic mode of transmission. Hams with transistorized rigs, home-brew rigs, boat anchors, software-based rigs and many other types of equipment can participate. Even military rigs and rigs converted from AM broadcast qualify; there are separate categories for each type. Please visit www-dot-amrally-dot-com ( for details, operating frequencies and information about logging software.
    Even if you're too young to remember the good old days of AM, if you're licensed, you're old enough to go back in time for just a few hours and experience AM.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee KB3TZD.
    PAUL: Newsline's occasional series, Nets of Note, takes a look at some unusual on-air gatherings. This week's find is from Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.
    NEIL: On this week's "Nets of Note, we meet Phil Henline, KB0OPR, one of the founding brothers of the Brothers Net on 40 meters. These guys know how to throw a party... I mean... a net. Phil tells us how it all got started.
    PHIL: The net started quite by accident. My younger brother got me into ham radio. Our father passed away in '93. He bribed me with my dad's Kenwood 520S and a tuner and said "if you get your general license I'll give those to you." So I got my license. I got on one night. I don't remember what frequency it was, and I heard about three fellows chatting, and I heard this one fellow say that he lived in Indiana but he was originally from Wisconsin. So when they finished, I contacted him and we had a little chat and we discovered that we each had brothers still living in Wisconsin that were hams. So we would make contacts every Saturday morning, and that went on for probably about six or eight months. Then one day my brother Kurt said, "We should start a brothers net."
    NEIL: Very soon, though, the net was opened to everyone, brothers or no brothers. And it just started to grow. Now there are 944 members in 41 states and 32 countries. Each night has a different theme.
    PHIL: Monday night we do what we call tube night, which is old radio night. You don't have to have an old radio to join us, but if you do we'd like you to fire it up. Every other Tuesday night is Route 66, where we talk about nothing but cars and Route 66 and things of that nature. The opposite Tuesday night we have what we call rocket science night. And we have another NCS that is into the scientific area, and he does a net around that.
    NEIL: Wednesday night is Canadian night. Thursday is for astronomy, Friday is for trivia. Saturday is well, wide open! This net even has its own mascot!
    PHIL: My brother, Kurt, WA9KMB, in Medford, had an eagle nesting in one of the trees on his property. So we called him Rudy, and eventually we decided we should have a mascot. So Kurt found this beautiful stuffed eagle that's about maybe 2 foot tall, very attractive, and we have what we call a "handshake" every year. So every first week in June, we go to Russellville, Kentucky to K4ELO. He has a farm there, and he hosts it. We have about 40 people a year. And, Rudy the mascot then gets auctioned off. Whoever wins Rudy has to take Rudy with them wherever they go and they have to photograph Rudy in all these different places. They'll submit the photographs to me, and I'll keep a constant slideshow going on our website.
    NEIL: For some brotherly advice, try the Brothers net on 7.192 at 7 pm Eastern Monday through Saturday. And you can check out the pictures of Rudy and get more information at their website,
    Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Neil Rapp WB9VPG.
    ANCHOR/PAUL: Meanwhile, if you know of a net with an interesting story to tell, email us at newsline at and we might just feature it as one of our next Nets of Note.
    Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KD5DMT repeater of the Benton County Radio Operators club in Centerton, Arkansas, which transmits Newsline at the end of its regular Thursday evening net.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: For the past few weeks we've been reminding you that it's time to submit your nominations for this year's Amateur Radio Newsline Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year Award. But our words can only go so far and only say so much. So let's hear some words instead from Alabama's Kaitlyn Cole KS3P. She was our youngest winner, at age 11, in 2011.
    KAITLYN: Hi, I'm Kaitlyn Cole KS3P and I was the 2011 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year. It was a gerat honor to be chosen as the recipient of this internationally known award. I was the youngest person to receive it at the age of 11. This award made it possible for me to be an example to other young hams and the award also shows the amateur radio community that young people are the future of amateur radio and that we are doing great things in public service and technical innovation along with being enthusiastic ambassadors for amateur radio. I am really looking forward to meeting the 2017 Bill Pasternak WA6ITF Amateur Radio Newsline YOung Ham of the Year at the Huntsville Hamfest. 73 from Kaitlyn KS3P.
    PAUL: Thank you Kaitlyn, we're proud of all you've accomplished. If any listeners know of a promising your amateur like Kaitlyn, visit our web page at and click on the YHOTY tab to download a nomination form. Candidates must be 18 or younger and reside in the U.S. or any of its possessions or Canada. Application deadline is May 31. Find more details on our website.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: If anyone knows how to stage a hamfest, it's Houston. The Greater Houston Hamfest and ARRL Texas State Convention isn't exactly an event of modest proportions. Hams who attend on Saturday March 24 and Sunday March 25 are likely to remember plenty about the two days of the group's 16th annual hamfest. The principal speaker will be Tim Duffy K3LR, who is the chief operating officer of DX Engineering. He will also be at the helm of two technical sessions - one on the K3LR superstation and a second one on the value a reverse beacon network has for DXers and contesters. Joe Eisenberg K0NEB, the kit editor for CQ Magazine, will also lead a kit-building class for beginners.
    So come to the hamfest at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg, Texas. Stay for the fellowship and the forums and oh yes, the two balloon launches. Things are looking up!
    For more details, visit
    PAUL/ANCHOR: If it feels like the whole world is on the air on April 18th, perhaps that's because hams are marking World Radio Day. What's that? Amateur Radio Newsline's Jason Daniels VK2LAW explains.
    JASON: If propagation is good, your signal is getting through and the QSL cards are filling up your mailbox, you might feel like every day is World Amateur Radio Day. Officially however this once-a-year event takes place on April 18th, the date in 1925 marking the formation of the International Amateur Radio Union in Paris. So if you feel you're in need of a special occasion to operate, this is the one.
    World Amateur Radio Day is set aside for IARU members to show public pride in being a radio operator by contacting hams worldwide as a gesture of global friendship. The Bahrain Amateur Radio Group will operate for several days as A91WARD with a special QSL card for the event. The Puerto Rico Field Day Group will be on the air on Amateur Radio Day itself as KP4FD. Australia's Albury Wodonga Amateur Radio Club will be operating for three days as VK2EWC.
    For the third consecutive year, the World Friendship Net will also be part of the action. The net is operating on ECHOLINK conference server *WORLD* and IRLP node 9251. Last year it logged more than 300 check-ins from 33 international stations and 18 different countries during its 10 hours of operation, making it the largest event on VOIP/ECHOLINK.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jason Daniels VK2LAW
    In the world of DX, a team of radio amateurs from the Netherlands will be operating from Liechtenstein as HB0/homecall between the first and 8th of April. The operators are Mans/PA2HGJ, Robert/PA2RDK, Frank/PA3CNO, Paul/PA3DFR, Henry/PA3HK, Gert/PE0MGB and Piet/PE1FLO. Listen for them on all bands between 160 and 10 meters. They'll be using mainly CW and some SSB/Digital modes. Much of their activity will be on the new 60m band. Send QSL cards via PE1FLO.
    Another ham is also operating from April 1st through the 8th. Bill K9HZ will be operating from his villa in St. Lucia. He can be found on 160 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. He is especially interested in contacts into Alaska and Montana in the United States, to complete his 8P WAS. Send QSL cards to his home call sign. He also uses LoTW, ClubLog and eQSL.
    There are a few days left to contact Franz, OE2SNL, who is active until the 30th of March working from Grenada as J3/OE2SNL. You can hear him on 160 through 10 meters. Send QSL cards to his home callsign.

    PAUL: We end this week's newscast with the story of a very miniature homebrew transmitter that was a tough nut to crack. Well....maybe not. The transmitter is actually a very simple device for sending CW. It operates QRP, drawing its power from a 9-volt battery. Of course, it's so tiny that the battery actually has to be outside the device: the transmitter is housed inside a walnut shell! Its creator, Jarno (YARN-O) de Haan PA3DMI in Amsterdam, just happens to really like walnuts -- and the ones he was eating from his neighbor's tree inspired him to follow a design he had seen for a tiny CW transmitter. As he told Amateur Radio Newsline in a recent email: QUOTE "looking at the design and eating walnuts got me thinking what if....." ENDQUOTE
    What if, indeed. He found four very tiny crystals on the Internet for $10, added a few other super-small components, then added the most miniature hinges he could find that would allow the nut to open and close. When he hooked it up to a dummyload, out came 50 to 60 milliwatts!
    After he posted a video of it on YouTube, the website took it viral. The rest is Internet and ham radio history. Followers have gone, well.....nuts over it. As for Jarno (YARN-O), he's inspired now to do more. He wrote Newsline to say: QUOTE: "I still have about a half kilo of walnuts so I could make a receiver, an antenna tuner, a new walnut CW-key - the possibilities are endless." ENDQUOTE
    Amateur Radio Newsline congratulates Jarno (YARN-O) on revolutionizing the wireless world of walnuts and asks that he please write us again when he's had his first successful QSO with a squirrel.
    NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; Clark Burgard N1BCG;; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; 9N7NEI Website; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ.COM; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; WTWW Shortwave; and you our listeners, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline. Please send emails to our address at More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's only official website located at
    For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Paul Braun WD9GCO in Valparaiso Indiana saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.
    Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
    WD9GCO likes this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The degradation at W1YW has been dramatic in the last year for noise floor --raising.

    The obvious source has been the ionosphere itself, with limited 'quiet' times during propagation paths. The SFI has been down and the A has been up. On several occasions, the A was HIGHER than the SFI! That stupid grinding sound of recalcitrant electrons is obnoxious, relentless, and DX-killing.

    But add to that our 'high' pals in Mass, with their green light to growing wacky weed. Those grow lamps, as we all know, are cheapest when they act as excellent incidental transmitters. And act they do, in a chorus of NORML tipsiness. Do I know where they are? Sure! Am I going to knock on their doors and tell them about their interference? Not on your life: I value mine. The good news --the interference peaks in the AM BCB so the solution will likely unfold itself with a few well-place newspaper insertions. Old people want their talk radio!!

    The TS-990, BTW, has an excellent NB that does a number on marihuana grow lamps, in my experience. But the intermod goes to hell when you do that, and its key click city during CW contests.

    Another solution is remote operation, which I am doing at two of my properties, and occasional commercial-implemented remote. FB!

    I will not be buried by noise, nor should you.

    Chip W1YW
    KK5JY, K3RW and KB7TBT like this.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where is the corresponding effort from ARRL?
    NK2U likes this.
  4. K1FBI

    K1FBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try asking them?
  5. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do you really think that the people in Newington are ignorant of the ongoing RFI issues in the US?
  6. K1FBI

    K1FBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes because they are mostly using DMR:rolleyes:
  7. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I watched an ARRL product review video on YT, not that many years ago, where the presenter was demonstrating an HF SDR that had a really nice panadapter. He hooked it to one of W1AW's outdoor antennas, and showed how the device displayed several MHz of spectrum on the waterfall, but just as he was talking about how great the receiver was, an S9+40 noise came up and red-lined the entire waterfall, and it did it over and over and over throughout the presentation. He finally had to interject that the problem wasn't with the receiver, but it was a noisy power line just a short distance from W1AW, and he concluded with "I hope they get that fixed soon."

    So they knew about it. And the top brass of ARRL knew about it. And it was a major obstruction to W1AW operations. He couldn't even do a proper demonstration of a receiver because of it. But nobody did anything about it. Kind of like how the South Africans are taking the lead in RFI abatement policy, but ARRL is doing ... nothing?
  8. KD0STU

    KD0STU Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ARRL is working with the FCC as part of a TAC to study and abate RFI (how's that for alphabet soup?)

    Considering the number of times the ARRL has stepped up to battle RFI from radio-over-powerline, grow lights, cheap Chinese (non-part15 compliant) light ballasts sold at your neighborhood Menards and Home Depot and other sources, the League is doing more that "nothing."

    Have you checked out the noise generated by your Arduino or your Raspberry Pi? I've noticed how much the noise jumps in my shack when mine is powered. It's terrible. I'm not using mine again until I get it shielded and in an enclosure.
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mine are all quiet. The power supplies that are commonly sold with them are terrible. But the boards themselves haven't been bad at all.
    That's funny, because the last time I contacted ARRL to ask for help with an electronic light ballast in a neighbor's house, I was told that FCC would not do anything to enforce the rules, so I was basically stuck unless I can convince the property owner to fix it. Given that the flow of such devices into the US continues unabated, I would say that there's not much evidence of progress at the moment. Not only that, but it's not really even on the radar, because the top legislative issues at the league at the moment are CC&R and entry-level licensing.

    So maybe they aren't doing "nothing," but if no progress is being made, how is that different?
    K5JEF likes this.
  10. N6TPT

    N6TPT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FCC put out a request for input on noise levels in the US a few months again. I know that the ARRL is working with them on this. Devices that are compliant with the limits for radiated and conducted emissions in Part 15 of the FCC Rules should not cause harmful interference to radio and television reception at your neighbor's home. No attempt was made to come up with limits to protect you from yourself - you own the source, victim and path. The FCC Rules do include text that is to be included in the user manual that provides a very brief description of actions you might take if you are having interference problems from the device. Simple thinks, like reorienting the receive antenna.

    The standards used internationally for computers (CISPR 22, withdrawn last month and CISPR 32, replaced CISPR 22) do not address text in the manual in this regard. Should they? Contact me privately and I'll let you know who to contact in the US committee that deals with CISPR 32. I chair the international committee that owns it (CISPR SC I), but such a request must come through a national committee.

    There are some who feel that the limits in these standards are not strict enough, but they haven't provided any data to back up their claims. As KD0STU points out, much of the noise raising the noise floor for our receivers is from devices that don't meet these limits for one reason or another. Enforcement is the only sure path, and the FCC evidently hasn't been doing enough. I understand that in the UK OFCOM (the FCC equivalent there) is equally bad. I guess part of the solution is to keep putting heat on the regulators to enforce their rules to keep the noise down.

    Data. The FCC needs data. If you have information on what RF noise levels were and what they are now, please provide that. It will help.


Share This Page