Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2103 for Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KB7TBT, Feb 16, 2018.

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    Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2103 for Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 Audio -

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2103 with a release date of Friday, February 16, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
    The following is a QST. Theft and vandalism destroy a repeater in the UK. A Hamvention team member becomes a Silent Key -- and there's a new chance to get Bouvet Island in your log. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2103 comes your way right now.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with an update of sorts for DXers hoping to get Bouvet Island in their logbooks, despite the recently scrapped Three Why Zero Eye DXpedition (3Y0I). Robert Broomhead VK3DN has the good news.
    ROBERT: The Bouvet Island DXpedition is on - well, sort of. A team of eastern European amateurs who had planned their activation in late 2017 has put the trip back on the calendar. Southgate Amateur News reported that Dominik 3Z9DX, Stanislaw SQ8X, Leszek SP3DOI, Branko YU4DX and Frans J69DS have put their trip back on the agenda with what they describe as "a matter of urgency." The team had cancelled its plans late last year at the request of the 3Y0Z DXpedition that had to be unexpectedly aborted earlier this month after reaching its destination.
    Although no dates for the trip have been made public, reports indicate that the radio license has been renewed and the Norwegian Polar Institute has also issued a landing permit that is good through February of 2019. The team has indicated they want the expedition to occur during the Southern Hemisphere's sub-antarctic summer.
    So if you're still looking to get Bouvet Island in your logbook, you may get your chance after all. The team's plans will be to sail from South Africa to the island where they will set up a camp and radio on the glacier plateau.
    Until you can listen for Three Why Zero Eye (3Y0I) on the bands, watch for updates on their web page at bouvetoya dot org ( in Polish or a Google translated version is at tinyurl dot com forward slash Bouvet dash three Why Zero EYE (
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Robert Broomhead VK3DN.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: It's tough enough when equipment failure knocks a repeater off the air, but in the UK presumed criminal activity has destroyed a popular SSTV repeater. Ed Durran DD5LP has those details.
    ED'S REPORT: Security had been high but it apparently was not enough to protect the MB7TV repeater used by the Martello Tower Group for SSTV. Following reports that the repeater had gone off the air, the group's chairman Tony G0MBA visited the site on Feb. 3 and discovered vandalism and theft had destroyed it.
    The cables had been cut and the repeater itself was stolen - a laptop, a Kenwood TM-D700E radio, SSTV interface, wi-fi interface, thermostatic controlled heater, PSU, 20ft pole, aerial and coax, according to Keith G6NHU.
    Keith told Amateur Radio Newsline that there are no suspects. He said "nobody outside the group knew the exact location of the repeater as the information on the website said it was located somewhere completely different. As far as we know there are no bad feelings between the group and other local hams so the only conclusion we can draw is that it's some chancers who have seen it on the wall and decided to break it open and steal the contents."
    The group estimated the cost of the equipment lost as between £600 and £700 -- or between eight hundred fifty and a thousand dollars in U.S. currency. Keith said there is no other local alternative until the repeater is rebuilt and put back on the air. The group has meanwhile requested financial gifts towards the costs of the new build via its website or through PayPal. For more information, contact repeaters at martellotowergroup dot com (
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The ham radio community has suffered two big losses - two Silent Keys. We hear first from Don Wilbanks AE5DW with this report on the death of a key contributor to Dayton Hamvention.
    DON: Jerry Miller WD8QAI, one of Hamvention's core organizers become a Silent Key. Jerry died on Sunday, Feb. 11 at his Centerville, Ohio home.

    Jerry was a valued member of Dayton Amateur Radio Association, most especially on the board of directors and in helping the club put together the annual Dayton Hamvention. He also served as editor of its newsletter, the RF Carrier and was also considered the driving force behind the group's new clubhouse that became the W8BI ham shack.
    Jerry had been licensed since the 1970s and his name was widely known among hams around the world. A retiree from Delco Products, Jerry operated his own company, Windbluff Computer Services, in the Dayton area.
    Funeral services were to be held on Saturday the 17th of February at the Tobias Funeral Home's Beavercreek Chapel in Dayton.
    Hamvention's Michael Kalter W8CI said of Jerry: "He will be sorely missed by his family and hams all over the world."
    Jerry Miller was 77.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Wilbanks AE5DW.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: A ham active in emergency communications in the Birmingham, Alabama area, has also become a Silent Key, as we hear from Kevin Trotman N5PRE.
    KEVIN: Alabama amateurs are mourning the loss of David Hanna WX4NCS who died on the 10th of February in a tragic accident. David, who was active in emergency communications, had been cleaning his gun when it discharged, striking him in the chest. He was rushed to UAB Hospital in Birmingham where he died during emergency surgery. David, who lived in Leeds, worked as a security officer for Security Engineers, a private security firm in Birmingham. He was actively involved in Birmingham area emergency communications including Skywarn, and served as control manager of several local nets on VHF.
    He was an A-double-R-L Traffic Manager for Jefferson Co., as well as an Assistant Emergency Coordinator. A former firefighter and emergency medical technician, Hanna leaves a wife and young daughter.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: As Newsline reported late last year, a ham in Trinidad and Tobago was awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of unlicensed radio transmissions. The judge has spoken and John Williams VK4JJW has that story.
    JOHN: An amateur radio operator in Trinidad and Tobago must pay a $50,000 fine or face five years in jail for unlicensed radio transmissions in 2007, before he was licensed.
    Desi-Lee Bonterre, a master certified electronics technician, had testified during his trial that he was in the process of repairing the transmitters when police visited his home 11 years ago and found the equipment. He was found guilty of operating without a license from his home. At the time, his attorney had asked for leniency for his client, who was eventually granted a license by the Telecommunications Authority, TATT. His attorney noted at the time that Bonterre, an Extra Class license holder in the U.S. is also an American Red Cross volunteer and a member of the Radio Emergency Association Citizen Team, or REACT.
    His QRZ page lists his U.S. call sign from a New Jersey address as N2DLB.
    Although Bonterre won his case in magistrate's court, the telecommunications authority appealed and the judges ruled that the prosecution had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
    According to a recent report in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Bonterre must pay the fine within 90 days or face prison.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm John Williams VK4JJW.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Add to the long list of achievements by amateur radio operators the presidency of Harvard University. As we hear from Heather Embee KB3TZD, the newest university president taking office this summer has a mission - and a call sign.
    HEATHER: Lawrence S. Bacow, KA1FZQ, of Brookline, Massachusetts, is taking office as the 29th president of Harvard University this summer. A graduate of MIT, Lawrence earned three additional degrees on the Harvard campus and now he can add "president" to that list. Bacow will take the reins of the campus effective July 1.
    Lawrence, who grew up in Pontiac, Michigan, is the son of a ham radio operator: the call signs W8JYZ and N4MB were used by his father Mitchell, who died in 2007.
    There's another reason Lawrence should feel right at home on campus: Harvard University is home to amateur radio station W1AF.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Heather Embee KB3TZD.
    Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the ZS0MOT repeater in Middelburg South Africa on Wednesdays at 1900 UTC.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Jamboree on the Air's official report has been released and Bill Stearns NE4RD has those details.
    BILL'S REPORT: This week in Radio Scouting we have the release of the World Report for Jamboree on the Air for 2017 and we hear from Jim Wilson, K5ND, on his meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
    Although the U.S. numbers were down as previously reported, the world report on Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet shows an increase of overall activity. Around 1.6 million people participated in the 2017 JOTA including 1.4 million youth at 28,178 locations around the globe representing 152 countries. This is an increase of around 200,000 more participants over 2016. The most activity for Amateur Radio was found on SSB. Over on the Internet side, IRC (Internet Relay Chat) scored the top position. You can find a link to the full report on the website.
    Every month we have a Net on Echolink that amateurs and scouters participate in to share stories and learn about various activities going on around the U.S. This month we had an update from Jim Wilson, K5ND, who just got back from the international committee meeting in Malaysia, about the good things to come from the new Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, Mr. Ahmed AlHendawi.
    [K5ND] Perhaps one of the most exciting things for me personally was the Secretary General who was the United Nations Youth Envoy for a number of years has recently stepped into the World Organization of the Scout Movement as their Secretary General, very dynamic individual, very connected across the planet. They're actually opening an office in New York to better work with the United Nations, better work with the media center, essentially of the universe. Just a complete breakthrough in the thinking and the enthusiasm that is underway in that office in the thinking of Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet.
    BILL: We also heard about high altitude ballooning from Keith Kaiser, WA0TJT, and how you can integrate this activity with your radio scouting adventures. All interested amateurs are invited to join the net monthly on the second Thursday of every month at 9PM central on the *JOTA-365* conference node.
    For more information on radio scouting, please visit our website at
    For Amateur Radio Newsline and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, this is Bill Stearns, NE4RD
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: This summer, hams from all over will gather in northern California to run in the woods seeking hidden transmitters. Here with the details is Newsline's Joe Moell (MELL) K-zero-O-V, who is also the ARRL's Direction Finding Coordinator.
    JOE: They range in age from the teens to the 70s and they're coming from all over to compete in the most physical of all ham radio sports. I'm talking about on-foot hidden transmitter hunters, also called foxtailers and radio-orienteers. Their sport is Amateur Radio Direction Finding, or ARDF.
    It's all done on foot in a BIG outdoor space. Thanks to a set of standard international rules, it's pretty much the same all over the world so we can have international competitions. Your mission is to try to find up to five hidden ham radio transmitters without assistance while on the run or trotting or just walking. You'll carry a map and compass so you don't get lost.
    You can mix in with the USA's best radio-orienteers at the eighteenth national ARDF championships in mid-June near Truckee, California, which is 33 miles southwest of Reno, Nevada. It starts off with a day of optional intense training on June 13, followed by four days of competition on the two-meter and eighty-meter bands. If your time is limited, just come for the classic competitions on the weekend.
    Learn from the experts, then see how you do for yourself out on the courses. You don't have to be a marathoner, but it helps to be in good shape. There are eleven separate categories with medals for the best three in each, so you'll only be competing against people of your own age range and gender.
    Registration for the championships will open soon. So start making plans. You can read all the details on the web at That's homingin -- as one word --
    I hope to see YOU at the championships. For Amateur Radio Newsline, this is Joe Moell K-Zero-Oscar-Victor.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: When hams find themselves operating in the cold grip of winter, public service events aren't likely to be the usual walkathons, marathons or bicycle races. Instead, think "mush" - as we hear from Kent Peterson KC0DGY.
    KENT's REPORT: When you're planning a serious sled-dog race, there are some things you just can't do without: First of all, you need dogs - but it's a good idea to bring along some ham radio operators too. Those elements plus some skilled mushers are what always seem to make the Apostle Islands Dog Sled Race in Bayfield, Wisconsin a success. Hams have been a part of this race in northern Bayfield County for the past 23 years. The tracks of the various races along the Sand River Trail System reach within two miles of Lake Superior. The one thing the route doesn't reach, however, is a cell phone tower. According to Chris Keezer KC9NVV, that's where the hams come in.
    They are part of Wisconsin's ARES/RACES and experienced at passing traffic. Chris, who's been coordinating the amateurs at the race for four years, said this year's team of six amateurs welcomed Haily KD9GCC as a first-timer helping keep an eye on race participants at the various check points. Chris was also joined by Larry K9LRD, Travis KC9GYD, Joe KD9CJX and Chuck N9CZM.
    Chris told Newsline in an email: "We were there to keep everyone informed and for the safety of the races."

    Chris said there were about 50 teams and they raced the clock as they covered as much as 80 miles a day on the weekend of February 3rd and 4th. Keeping an eye out for safety in this kind of freezing weather, no doubt the hams themselves did their job doggedly.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY.
    In the world of DX, begin listening on February 24th for members of the Lufthansa Amateur Radio Club of Frankfurt Germany as they begin operating as XV9DLH from Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam. It's not known how long they plan to be there. Operators include Bernhard/DK7TF and Jürgen/DH6ICE. QSL via DK8ZZ.
    Jean-Pierre F6ITD is operating as FG/F6ITD from the island of Guadeloupe until 15th of March. He can be found on SSB and FT8.
    Listen for Lou, W0FK, operating as W0FK/4 on Longboat Key between the first of March through the 14th. He will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. According to his QRZ page, he will upload contacts to Logbook of the World. Contacts wanting a QSL card instead should send a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
    STEPHEN: Sometimes a QSL card is just a QSL card. Other times it's the start of some amazing new connections that turn out to be - well - very OLD connections. We'll let Mike Askins KE5CXP explain.
    MIKE'S REPORT: One of the mainstays of amateur radio is the QSL card. It's a mutual confirmation of contact. But what happens when a new contact turns out to very possibly be an old contact -- one that happened, say, generations and generations ago? That may well be the case for Rita McConnell NE0DB of Colorado and Gene Giddings AA1XD of Maine. On the last day of 2017, Rita received a card from Gene confirming their recent QSO. Rita noted Gene's last name - Giddings - is the same as her maiden name.
    Having a great interest in researching ancestry, Rita started digging. She noted in a Facebook post on December 31 that, at the very least, the two amateurs may share a New England connection.
    She wrote: "We discovered that our eighth great-grandfather landed in Ipswich, Massachusetts on the Planter in 1635."
    This piqued Gene's interest even more. Gene told Newsline that he suspects the connection, if there is one, does indeed go way, way back. He has enlisted the help of a friend who is good at such research and she is helping him do his own side of the genealogical dig. Now, he says, it is time to wait and see.
    Clearly, our QSL cards tell the world who we are - through our call signs, our photos and our addresses - but for these two hams, the discovery of identity through a QSL card may turn out to be so much more.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mike Askins KE5CXP.
    NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; Chris Keezer KC9NVV; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the Irish Radio Transmitters Society; K2BSA; Michael Kalter W8CI; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday; Wireless Institute of Australia; 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 at
    For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB in Wadsworth Ohio saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.
    Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018

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