Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2114 for Friday, May 4, 2018

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  1. KB7TBT

    KB7TBT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2114 for Friday, May 4, 2018 Audio -

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2114 with a release date of Friday, May 4, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
    The following is a QST. Hams respond to massive fires in Arizona. Get ready for a test of cross-band operations - and yes, you can be part of Britain's Royal Wedding later this month. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2114 comes your way right now.
    JIM/ANCHOR: We begin this week with breaking news. The May 2nd crash of an Air National Guard cargo plane has claimed the life of a ham radio operator who had been involved in the recent storm recovery in Puerto Rico. The ARRL's Southeastern Division confirmed the identity of Silent Key Eric Circuns WP4OXB of Rio Grande Puerto Rico. Eric was one of the 9 crew members killed shortly after the Hercules C-130 aircraft took off from Georgia enroute to Arizona. Media reports indicated the plane, which was 60 years old, had recently been in for repairs and was scheduled to be decommissioned when it reached Arizona.
    JIM/ANCHOR: We also have an update on the massive fire sweeping through northern Arizona - and, of course, the amateur response. Here's Paul Braun WD9GCO.
    PAUL'S REPORT: It’s been argued that in this world of the Internet and cell phones that amateur radio is more or less obsolete. But when lives are at stake, and conditions render all modern communication systems unusable, amateur radio operators prove time and time again that our “obsolete” system works.
    That is definitely the case in Flagstaff, Arizona where the Tinder Fire, started by an illegal campfire that was abandoned, burned more than 11,000 acres and damaged or destroyed more than 40 homes during the last days of April and the first days of May. As many as 700 firefighters are currently on site.
    As reported by 12 News in Phoenix, the local ARES chapter, led by district coordinator Joe Hobart, was ready to take to the airwaves when cell service at the fire line began to fail. Hobart, along with husband-and-wife team Bill and Mary Lou Hagan were setting up at the Coconino County Emergency Operations Center on Sunday the 29th of April when traffic started to flow through ARES instead of the cell network. Hams in the field are helping to relay traffic to and from the front lines and working with authorities to coordinate evacuations if necessary.
    Mary Lou Hagan told the TV station “That’s what you’re here for. You’re here to help your neighbors and they’re our neighbors and the firemen - you have to support them.”
    As Newsline goes to production, the fire is still burning and has only been approximately seven percent contained. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency on Monday, April 30th.??If you’re in the area and need more information, please call the EOC at 928-679-8393.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Paul Braun, WD9GCO
    JIM/ANCHOR: The amateur radio community is grieving the loss of an influential and well-known amateur radio operator. Christian Cudnik K0STH has that report.
    CHRISTIAN: Sandra Heyn WA6WZN of Costa Mesa, California has become a Silent Key. Sandi died at home on April 28th after a long illness.
    Sandi was a longtime fixture at the National Association of Broadcasters conventions held in Las Vegas, where she would be seen at the ARRL booth and the reception held for amateur radio operators. When the ARRL held its national convention in 1992 in Los Angeles, she had a major hand as an organizer. Her activities with the ARRL included her generosity through the league's Maxim Society. She was also a Life Member of the ARRL.
    Sandi was a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, a past officer of the Young Ladies Radio League and a number of other local clubs, including the Orange County and the Palomar amateur radio clubs. She was the wife of Fried Heyn WA6WZO, ARRL honorary vice president and past ARRL Southwestern Division director.
    They were married for 57 years. Sandra Heyn was 75.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Christian Cudnik K0STH.
    JIM/ANCHOR: The Military Auxiliary Radio System is all about communicating - so hams are marking Armed Forces Day with an exercise that arms them with cross-band operations. Stephen Kinford N8WB has more of those details.
    STEPHEN'S REPORT: Are you ready for the big test? May 19th is the 67th annual Armed Forces Day in the U.S. and that sets the stage for an important exercise just a few days earlier that will engage radio amateurs and military stations in a test of cross-band operations. The test is scheduled for Saturday the 12th of May. It allows hams and military stations to communicate on various frequencies using SSB, voice and CW as well as modern military modes such as MIL-STD Serial PSK and Automatic Link Establishment, or ALE. There will certainly be some 60 meter activity on the interoperability channels where hams and military stations can communicate directly.
    From the Barrow Army Reserve Center in Kentucky to the U.S. Military Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to the Pentagon itself, military stations will monitor amateur frequencies and announce which ones they are on military frequencies. Participating amateurs who would like a QSL card should visit the MARS website and complete the request form. The website is triple w dot usarmymars dot org ( That site also has a list of the military stations participating in the exercise, which has been held for the past 50 years. MARS involves ham radio operators in supporting military communication under a program sponsored by the Department of Defense.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB.
    JIM/ANCHOR: Great Britain's Prince Harry and American actress Megan Markle aren't radio amateurs - but perhaps they will want to rethink that option after hearing this story from Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    JEREMY: What, you may ask, does amateur radio have in common with weddings? Both almost always count on some great reception. So for the Royal Wedding between Great Britain's Price Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, the world's ham radio community is changing the HF bands into wedding bands.

    The special event call sign GR9RW – the first time “9” has been used it’s thought - will be active on 19th May, the day of the wedding, all the way through to the 23rd. While the couple exchange vows at Windsor Castle’s St George’s chapel, the Cray Valley Radio Society will be exchanging signal reports as hams operate from the club station in Eltham. The club will be using primarily SSB and CW with some activity on VHF and UHF.

    Two HF stations and one VHF station will cover all bands from 80 metres to 70 centimetres. A commemorative QSL card is available upon request.....but you'll have to provide your own wedding cake.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    JIM/ANCHOR: For one amateur radio operator in Germany, being clever and inventive is all in a day's work, as we hear from Ed Durrant DD5LP.
    ED'S REPORT: Markus Vester, DF6NM, who is considered a specialist in high-frequency technology and MRI systems at Siemens in Erlangen, Germany, received an "Inventor of the Year" award from the company for his years of work. The radio amateur from Nuernberg holds more than 300 patents related to the receiving and transmitting units in MRI scanners.
    In a statement on the company website, Markus noted that his work brought with it the steady presence of ham radio. "Like many engineers who are also radio amateurs, work and play have never been completely separate aspects of my life. Inspiration tends to flow both ways between the two."
    We here at Amateur Radio Newsline congratulate DF6NM. This is Ed Durrant DD5LP.
    JIM/ANCHOR: It's May - and that doesn't just mean Hamvention -- it means that we're coming up on the deadline for nominations for the Bill Pasternak/Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year award. This is an honor for radio operators 18 and younger who hold licenses in the U.S. or Canada. We are accepting nominations only until May 31. So if you know of a deserving candidate, don't wait any longer: submit his or her name for consideration. You can find the nomination forms on our website at arnewsline dot org ( under the YHOTY tab.
    BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including KSET AM radio at 1300 kHz on Sunday mornings at 9:45 in Beaumont, Texas.
    JIM/ANCHOR: The Radio Scouts of K2BSA are back on the air this week. Bill Stearns NE4RD has the details.
    BILL: This week in Radio Scouting we have two activations of the K2BSA callsign and we're 5 months out from JOTA.
    Russ Mickiewicz, N7QR, will be activating K2BSA/7 from the Sunset Trail District Camporee at Camp Meriwether in Cloverdale, OR on May 4th through the 6th. Russ will be enjoying an ocean front view from this Camporee while he shares his experience with Amateur Radio and gets scouts on the air.
    John Baddour, KC8KI, will be activating K2BSA/8 from the Firelands Scout Reservation in Wakeman, OH on May 5th. John will be having a Radio Merit Badge Class and Program, along with a Amateur Radio demonstration station with HTs.
    Jamboree on the Air, the world's largest scouting event will be taking place in October, and we're only 5 months away. If you haven't started making your plans for putting a station on the air, now would be a good time to get that kicked off. Field Day is around the corner, and is a great place to recruit fellow hams to help you in your JOTA effort. You can find operation and planning guides on our website at
    For Amateur Radio Newsline and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, this is Bill Stearns, NE4RD.
    JIM/ANCHOR: When you're DXing - really DXing - in space, you need a reliable backup plan. NASA is taking care of that, as Paul Braun WD9GCO tells us.
    PAUL: NASA's VHF backup communications system for the International Space Station is getting a backup of its own.
    The two-frequency VHF system is built from a system of ground stations. One frequency is used for Soyuz communication when Soyuz is out of the range of ground stations in Russia. The other frequency is used for emergency communications. NASA said the improvements will include new software installations and an upgrade of electronic components as well as new antennas. These antennas will permit both frequencies to operate simultaneously.
    The Goddard Space Flight Center manages two VHF ground stations in the U.S. -- one at at Wallops Island in Virginia and another at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.
    NASA's Mark Severance said in an agency announcement in late April: "The purpose of [the ground station] upgrades is to ensure the VHF ground stations remain a robust capability for backup and emergency communications."
    The space station has two VHF antennas located 180 degrees apart.
    The good news is that most of the time, NASA talks with the ISS via its primary means - the NASA Space Network - which utilizes a group of tracking and data relay satellites. The Space Network allows for data transmissions at a much higher rate, accommodating high definition video and other means of communication. The backup VHF system, while critical to the mission, permits only audio. Still, when all else fails there is once again ham radio - even in space.

    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun WD9GCO.
    JIM/ANCHOR: Speaking of space and communications, what's it like to work a satellite with your HT? With this report, we find out - and we welcome the newest member of the Newsline family: Andy Morrison K9AWM.
    ANDY'S REPORT: The Desert Radio Amateur Transmitting Society of Palm Springs, California is best known by the shorthand "RATS" - its initials - but on May 15 the club will be morqe likely known for its association with SATS - that is, satellites.
    The club is hosting ARRL instructor Clint Bradford K6LCS during its regular monthly meeting and Clint's talk will focus on how to use an HT to work amateur satellites. Clint is also optimistic that this presentation won't be all talk: He's anticipating more than a few satellite passes during the session and they're expected to be workable.
    The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. local time at the Palm Springs Fire Department Training Center and hams in the region can get talk-in via the 146.940 repeater using a PL tone of 107.2
    Meanwhile, hams wanting to program their radios for the scheduled satellite passes should visit his satellite website for a tutorial and frequency list. That website is work hyphen sat dot com (
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Andy Morrison K9AWM.
    JIM/ANCHOR: Get ready for some athletics - on the air, that is. The World Cup is little more than a month away. Here's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    JEREMY: You don't have to be a sports fan to get into the game on this ham radio event - but it helps.
    The International Amateur Radio Union's member society in Russia, the SRR, is inviting ham radio groups to adopt call signs relating to the World Cup - perhaps with "FIFA" as a suffix or, toward the end of the matches, "FWC," signfying the finals. The World Cup football event has inspired an amateur radio marathon of sorts. The games will be held in Russia from June 14th through July 15th but the hams are kicking things off by getting on the air the first of June.
    There will be 32 call signs on the air from Russia, each with an R18 prefix and a suffix that honors a location where matches are taking place.
    By mid-April, organizers reported that response had been enthusiastic, with amateurs in 76 FIFA member nations committing to the event.
    So be listening for VB18FIFA from Canada, RC18KA from Kaliningrad, GM18FIFA, from Stirling, Scotland and GB18FWC from England, among many, many others.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    In the world of DX, plan ahead now to be lsitening for Arnold, WB6OJB, who will be active as 7Q7JK from Malawi between July 20-25th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters SSB only. QSL via WB6OJB
    Be listening right now for Jan PA4JJ, who is operating as 9A/PA4JJ until June 8th. He is on the air holiday style on 40-10 meters using mostly FT8. QSL via his home callsign, LoTW or ClubLog.
    From May first through 19th listen for Rick NE8Z/HC1MD in Poland. He will use his personal call sign in Poland, which is SP9E and will also use SP/NE8Z. Send QSL via NE8Z (see SP9E on, direct, by the W8-Bureau or LoTW after his trip.
    JIM/ANCHOR: Students are taught to aim high but one group of high school students took that to a happy extreme in a recent physics class. Don Wilbanks AE5DW has that story.
    DON'S REPORT: What started as a science project at Bunker Hill High School in Bunker Hill, Illinois turned into a space adventure for nine chemistry and physics students. On April 24 they sent a high altitude balloon into near space at 70 thousand feet, equipped with a GoPro camera, automatic packet reporting system tracking hardware and a battery pack.
    The teacher Jeremiah Goltz said the project was designed to demonstrate the principles of physics as well as the effects of weather. They learned about high-tech tracking and rehearsed by fox hunting with homing beacons.
    Their first attempt to launch two months ago was thwarted by winds that were too strong. But on the 24th, after one false start, the balloon lifted everything skyward and they watched it soar. Its flight lasted 2 hours and 4 minutes. Students tracked it with its APRS hardware using their smartphones and ultimately recovered it in Venedy, Illinois, an hour and 15 minutes away, sometime after lunch.
    Speaking of lunch, there was one more bit of cargo aboard that's not insignificant - a granola bar. Their teacher told the Telegraph newspaper that the students added that last item so they might be able to experience some real space food.
    For the next launch, however, Goltz said local amateur radio operators may want to work with the class. They might need to buy some extra granola bars.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Wilbanks AE5DW.
    NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Department of Defense; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; K2BSA; NASA; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Siemens; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; the Telegraph Newspaper; 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 Jim Damron N8TMW in Charleston West Virginia saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.
    Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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