Amateur Radio NewslineT Report 1898 - December 27 2013
From Roy Witt@1:2320/100 to Y'all on Fri Dec 27 11:33:02 2013
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1898 with a release date of December
27 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a QST. Two astro-hams repair cooling system on the ISS
in Christmas Eve spacewalk; ham radio takes a big step forward in Kosovo;
New Zealand's national ham radio society issues a correction on 6 meter privileges; the ARRL files comments on its own Symbol Rate petition and
how high altitude balloon mission are tracked. Find out the details are
on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1898 coming your way right now.
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ASTRO-HAMS REPAIR ISS COOLING SYSTEM IN CHRISTMAS EVE SPACEWALK
A pair of United States astronaut hams have made final repairs to a
damaged cooling system on board the International Space Station. This,
during a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk on Tuesday, December 24th. Amateur
Radio Nrewsline's Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with the
It was the second Extra Vehicular Activity or EVA or spacewalk in four
days for United States astronauts Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, and Rick
Mastracchio, KC5ZTE, and only the second Christmas Eve spacewalk ever.
NASA ordered several spacewalks to repair a critical cooling system on the International Space Station. This after all nonessential equipment had
been turned off when the system faulted on December 11th causing many
science experiments halted. To solve the problem Mastracchio and Hopkins removed the faulty ammonia pump during a spacewalk on Saturday December
21st and installed a spare unit during the 7 2 hour EVA on December 24th.
According to NASA the replacement was slow going because of a balky
ammonia fluid line that sent frozen flakes of the extremely toxic
substance straight at the two astro-hams. The spacewalkers reported being surrounded by big chunks of the material that bounced off equipment and
their space suits. The ammonia needed to dissipate from their suits
before the pair returned inside of the ISS to avoid any contamination to
the orbiting outpost.
But in the end, it was man triumphing over machine. With this success
NASA says that the cooling system should be restored and all equipment up
and running by Sunday the 29th.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the
Newsroom in Los Angeles.
NASA's only previous Christmas Eve spacewalk occurred in 1999 during a
Hubble Space Telescope repair mission. But perhaps the most memorable Christmas Eve in space took place back on December 24, 1968. That's when Apollo 8 astronauts read from the Bible's Book of Genesis as they orbited
the Moon on mankind's first lunar flight. (NASA, published news reports)
WORLDBEAT: HAM RADIO LICENSING TAKES A BIG STEP FORWARD IN KOSOVO
Kosovo now has a new base of young ham radio operators. This as more than four-dozen young people aged 18 to 21 sat for their ham radio license exam
on Saturday, December 14th.
The exam was held in the amphitheater of the Technical University of
Pristina. Of the 52 that were tested, 50 walked away as new amateur
radio operators qualifying for a U.S. General level license.
This group was the first ever to take an amateur radio exam under the new
laws of the Republic of Kosovo. The procedural framework used follows the
U.S. structure, and several ARRL manuals were given to the national
association for Amateur Radio in Kosovo as well as to the
Telecommunications administrators courtesy of the American Radio Relay
League. (OPDX, French Press, others)
RESTRUCTURING: ICASA EXTENDS THE SARL 5 MHZ LICENSE
The Independent Telecommunications Authority of South Africa or ICASA has extended the South Africa Radio League's 5 MHz license through the end of January 2014. This follows an application for the telecommunications
regulator to review the license and grant facilities up to at least the
start of the WRC 2015.
Currently the South Africa Radio League's holds a pilot license for 5 dot
250 and 5 dot 260 MHz. While it applied for extension of the license for
a further period it also appealed to the ICASA Chairperson, Dr. Stephen
Mnube, to consider issuing the national society with a long term authority
to use these two frequencies to continue propagation research.
The South Africa Radio League is currently analyzing the results of a
special weekend 5 MHz activity event held in early November. The first
study using an ionosonde network has been published and is available for download at www.sarl.org.za (SARL)
RADIO LAW: NZART ISSUES A CORRECTION ON 6 METER OPERATION
The New Zealand Amateur Radio Transmitters or NZART which is that nation's national ham radio society has issued a correction to its recent news
release regarding the availability of 6 meters. It says that that a small
error was made in its bulletin number 286 that stated the nations six
meter allocation was 50 to 54 MHz.
This says the NZART is not correct. Rather the 6 meter band for
operational use is from 50 to 53 MHz for all modes at up to the full legal power limit. It notes that New Zealand does have limited use of the band
from 53 to 54 MHz but only for approved individually licensed 6 meter
repeater outputs. 53 to 54 MHz is not available for general amateur
RADIOSPORTS: 2014 WRTC REFEREES APPOINTED
The World Radiosport Team Championship committee has announced the list of those who will serve as referees for the 2014 competition.
According to an announcement from the games coordinating committee a
referee will be on site at each of the 59 competing stations to verify compliance with the rules and make decisions on any rule questions by the teams.
All of the referees will be top level contesters because they must simultaneously listen to the audio from both operators for the entire 24
hours of the competition, which takes place in July 2014 in the
North-Eastern United States.
A complete list of those selected to act as referees is on the web at wrtc2014.org. Also, a short video explaining the upcoming World
Radiosport Team Championship is on YouTube at tinyurl.com/wrtc-2014-usa
DX UP FRONT: AMSTERDAM ISLAND IN JANUARY 2014 UPDATE
In DX up front, Ralph Fedor, K0IR reports that all the equipment the long awaited Amsterdam Island DXpedition that had been shipped to New Zealand
is now aboard the ship MV Braveheart. Also that all of the documentation
is in order that that inspections have been completed.
According to Fedor, the vessel was to be fueled for its voyage to
Australia on December 23rd and scheduled to depart on December 26th for Fremantle, Australia. Meantime the FT5ZM team members will begin arriving
in Fremantle on January 9th. They will board the Braveheart on January
14th, configure our maritime mobile station, and sail for Amsterdam Island
on January 15th. Landing operations will commence as soon as the sea conditions and weather allow. Once the team is ashore, they will have 18
days to set up, conduct the DXpedition, and tear down for departure.
Fedor says that there will likely be at least one more press release
before they depart. In the meantime you can get updates at the
DXpeditions website at www.amsterdamdx.org or by following the planning at facebook.com/FT5ZM. And we will have more DX news for you later on in
this week's newscast. (Various DX News Sources)
RADIO LAW: ARRL FILES COMMENTS ON ITS SYMBOL RATE PETITION
The ARRL has filed comments with the FCC on its own Petition for Rule
Making RM-11708 the so-called "symbol rate" petition. Although the
League rarely files formal comments on its own petitions, ARRL General
Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, citing the high level of interest in the
proceeding, said that this is clearly an exceptional circumstance.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephen Kindord, N8WB has the details:
As previously reported ARRL sponsored RM-11708 proposes to drop the symbol
rate limit as outlined in Part 97.307(f) of the FCC Amateur Service rules
and substituting a maximum occupied bandwidth of 2.8 kHz for High
Frequency data emissions. And in its newly filed comments the League
noted the large number of comments that have been filed thus far indicate
that the issue of data communications is an important one in the Amateur
In general, the ARRL says that its petition would have no effect on the
High Frequency subbands where phone and image emissions are already
permitted. It noted that the petition would not permit digital voice transmissions in the data and RTTY sub-bands because digital voice is
defined in the Commission's rules as voice not data. Also the petition
would have no effect on CW operation in the High Frequency bands either,
and restrictions on automatically controlled digital stations would remain
as they are now.
The ARRL also took pains to address the proposed 2.8 kHz maximum bandwidth
for High Frequency data emissions. It noted that some comments say that bandwidth's greater than 2.8 kilohertz for data should be permitted in
order to permit a wider array of data emissions now and in the future.
Others argue that 2.8 kHz is too wide, potentially allowing usurping of
the band to the detriment of CW and other narrow-bandwidth emissions. But
the League says that its recommended 2.8 kHz maximum is an attempt to
balance two competing objectives. This by facilitating the use of current
and future data emissions while protecting against a situation where a few
data stations could take over a band.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephen Kinford, N8WB, reporting.
The League's petition now tops the FCC's Most Active Proceedings list. As
of the December 23rd deadline more than 850 comments had been filed.
HAM HAPPENINGS: KIDS DAY JANUARY 5th - 1800 TO 2400 UTC
The next Kids Day, jointly sponsored by the ARRL and The Boring Oregon
Amateur Radio Club, will be held on Sunday, January 5th. This event runs
from 1800 to 2400 UTC and is an excellent opportunity to showcase both ham radio and amateur radio satellites to youngsters while giving them some hands-on experience.
The suggested frequencies on the High Frequency bands are 28.350 to 28.400
MHz, 24.960 to 24.980 MHz, 21.360 to 21.400 MHz, 18.140 to 18.145 MHz,
14.270 to 14.300 MHz, 7.270 to 7.290 MHz, and 3.740 to 3.940 MHz.
Repeater contacts, with permission of the repeater's sponsor are also
welcome while satellite contacts may prove to be the biggest thrill.
Be sure to observe third-party traffic restrictions when making DX
contacts. All participants are encouraged to post stories and photos to
the Kids Day Soapbox page and are eligible to receive a colorful
certificate. You can download the free certificate customized with participating youngsters' names, after filling out the Kids Day Survey.
Both are on the web at arrl.org/kids-day. (ARRL)
RADIO BUSINESS: CQ TO CONSOLIDATE PUBLICATIONS
CQ Communications, Inc. has announced plans to realign its roster of publications and to launch a new online supplement to its flagship CQ
Amateur Radio magazine. Effective with the February 2014 issue of CQ,
content from the magazine's three sister publications, Popular
Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online, will be incorporated into
CQ's digital edition as a supplement to be called CQ Plus.
According to Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, while their primary audience is
ham radio operators, very few hams began their radio involvement as
amateurs. Most started out as shortwave listeners, broadcast band DX'ers, CB'ers or scanning enthusiasts. Ross says that many continue to be
involved in various different aspects of the radio hobby in addition to
amateur radio. K2MGA notes that by consolidating four specialized
publications into one, that CQ will be better able to keep these multidimensional readers informed on all aspects of the radio hobby while simultaneously exposing those who are not hams to all the excitement and opportunities that amateur radio has to offer.
Richard Fisher, KI6SN, who is currently Editor of both Popular
Communications and WorldRadio Online will become the Editor of CQ Plus.
Current subscriptions to Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio
Online will be converted to CQ subscriptions and receive CQ Plus at no additional charge. Details will be posted on each magazine website. In
the meantime a preview of the February issue's Table of Contents is
available right now on the CQ website at tinyurl.com/cq-february-2014.
RADIO BUSINESS: HRD TO CONTINUE SUPPORT TO WINDOWS XP USERS
HRD Software has announced that it will continue to support Ham Radio
Deluxe on the Windows XP Service Pack 3 platform beyond April 8, 2014.
This for as long as it is technically and commercially reasonable for them
to do so, and there is no external dependency.
For example, if the manufacturers of radios, rig interfaces, or soundcards discontinue making drivers that work on Windows XP and you should purchase
one of these devices, Ham Radio Deluxe would not be able to work with it.
These same companies may discontinue support for older products that
currently work on Windows XP and this could prevent trouble shooting.
HRD Software says that it recognizes that many operators may have no
desire to upgrade their operating system or their computer. Microsoft
provides some guidance to users of in this regard. HRD Software says that
it will refer its customers to guidance provided by Microsoft in these instances.
More information on HRD Software products is on the web at www.ham-radio-deluxe.com (HRD via Southgate)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: RETIRED ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD VA3OOG PREDICTS MOON
BASE WITHIN 70 YEARS
Some names in the news. First up is retired Canadian astronaut Chris
Hadfield, VA3OOhG who has predicted that humans will have a colony on the
moon within the next 30 to 40 years and establish a base on Mars within
the next 70.
In a recent interview with the Telegraph newspaper, Hadfield said that
this is a pattern we have been following for the last 70,000 years. He
noted mankind gradually made its way around the world. In the last 100
years we have gotten to Antarctica and now there are people who live there
for months at a time.
VA3OOG went on to say that he thinks that within his lifetime we will see
a permanent lunar base. Also that the setting up of a permanent
habitation on the Moon will help to improve space exploration.
Hadfield gained fame for tweeting pictures of space and performing his own version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" during his command of the
International Space Station this past year. He retired from the Canadian Space Agency last June and is currently on tour promoting his new book "An Astronaut's Guide To Life on Earth."
You can read the entire interview with Chris Hadfield, VA3OOG on the web
at tinyurl.com/Hadfield-Moon-Future. (Telegraph)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: G3VBA APPOINTED GB2RS MANAGER
The Radio Society of Great Britain Board of Directors has appointed Ken
Hatton, G3VBA as Manager of station GB2RS effective as of January 1st of
2014. According to the announcement Hatton first became interested in
amateur radio as a schoolboy and has been licensed 47 years. He replaces Gordon Adams, G3LEQ in this post. (RSGB)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: GREEN POWER SET TOP BOXES
The Department of Energy has reached a deal with environmental and
business groups on new energy efficiency standards for cable and satellite television set-top boxes.
The department reached the agreement along with the Natural Resources
Defense Council, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Appliance Standard Awareness Project, the Consumer Electronics Association
and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. The accord
will improve efficiency on these units by 10 to 45 percent, over the next
three years depending on the type of box. By 2017, about 90 percent of
the set-top boxes in American homes will work as well as the most energy efficient devices currently on the market.
In the end, the agreement will save about $1 billion in energy costs for
more than 90 million American homes each year, but won't lead to new
industry regulations. Instead, the energy efficiency standards will be voluntary.
More is on-line at tinyurl.com/energy-saving-boxes (The Hill)
RADIO IN SPACE: RADIO STARS THAT ARE INSTANTLY KILLED BY BLACK HOLE
Scientists have found that a new type of exploding radio star that dies completely by exhausting all its energy in one single energy burst before collapsing into a black hole.
According to a new research by astronomers at the Centre for All-Sky Astrophysics at Curtin University and the University of Sydney, these new populations of exploding star use all their energy to emit one strong last
beam of high radiation, known as gamma-ray burst, They then collapse into
a black hole.
The research, which originally set out to prove the existing theory that gamma-ray bursts are always followed by a radio afterglow, discovered that
the premise was wrong. Rather they found that the birth of black holes
kill a new type of exploding radio star.
The researchers used a technique of stacking 200 separate observations on
top of each other to re-create the image of a gamma-ray burst in much
better quality, but the image depicted no signs of radio afterglow. They
said that those stars that collapse to form a neutron star have energy
left over to produce the radio afterglow, while those that become black
holes put all their energy into one final powerful gamma-ray flash.
The researchers say that new work is required to test and verify the
team's findings, adding that the findings give them a whole new look to understand gamma-ray bursts. They add that so far this work has shown
that being wrong is sometimes more interesting than being right.
You can read more on this newly discovered phenomena at tinyurl.com/new-star-theory. (IBT)
RADIO NEAR SPACE: HOW HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOON MISSIONS STAY ON TRACK
The United Kingdom's Register reporter Lester Haines has interviewed
Daniel Richman, M0ZDR about Cambridge University Space Flight Landing Predictor.
Rob Anderson wrote the original landing predictor for High Altitude
Balloons back in 2008. Since then it's been continually updated to
improve performance, and now offers anyone wanting to send a balloon aloft
the chance of seeing very just where its likely to burst and where they
should head to recover the payload.
Others who have worked on improving the predictor in the past five years
are Fergus Noble M0NBL, Ed Moore M0TEK, Jon Sowman M0JSN and Adam Greig,
M0RND. You can read the entire article at
tinyurl.com/balloon-flight-article. The program itself is at predict.habhub.org. (Southgate)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SAUDISAT 1C CELEBRATES 11 YEATS ON ORBIT
A Happy 11th birthday to Saudisat 1 C. Better known as SO-50, Saudisat 1
C is a Saudi Arabian pico-satellite that was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 17:00 UTC on December 20th, 2002. The bird is equipped with a Mode J FM repeater operating on a 2 meter uplink and a 440
MHz downlink. As such, most hams already own the necessary equipment to
work SO-50. (K6LCS)
In DX, DK3ID who also holds the call OE8IDK will be operational from
Lesotho as 7P8ID between February 11th to the 16th. Activity will be on
40 through 6 meters on SSB only. QSL via DK3ID or OE8IDK direct only.
EA5BYP is planning a trip to Annobon Island to be active as 3C0BYP, and
Bioko Island where he will use the call 3C4BYP. Specific dates have not
been announced but the operations will happen fairly soon. QSL via his
ON4EZ will be active stroke 5Z- from Kenya between through January 6th. No other details were provided. QSL as directed on the air.
F5VHJ will once again be active as TO5A, from FM5BH's QTH during the ARRL International DX SSB Contest on March 1st and 2nd. Logs will be uploaded
to Logbook of the World. QSL via F5VHJ either direct or by the Bureau.
Lastly, ZS6ALB is once again on the air as C91KHN from Mozambique.
Activity has been on 10 and 6 meters. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of
the World and Clublog. QSL direct via his home callsign.
(Above from various DX news sources)
THAT FINAL ITEM: AUSTRALIA SEES NEW HIGH FOR DIGITAL RADIO LISTENING
And finally this week, Australia seems to have become one of the world
leaders in digital radio broadcasting as we hear from Amateur Radio
Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK:
According to Commercial Radio Australia, a new survey shows that DAB Plus devices account for more than 12.7 percent of weekly radio listening in
that nations five state capitals. Time spent listening via a DAB Plus
digital radio device also adds up to 12 hours, more than double that of
radio listening via the Internet.
DAB+ interest in the Asia Pacific is currently at an all time high with Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia all hosting DAB Plus technology and transmission workshops. Also truck and bus manufacturer Fuso now includes
DAB Plus digital radio as standard, increasing the number of Australian
vehicle manufacturers offering this digital radio system as a standard
feature or as an option.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in Zion,
The other Australian auto makers committed to DAB Plus so far include
Ford, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Audi, Hino and
Isuzu Trucks. (RW)
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, TWiT-TV and Australia's WIA News, that's all for
this year from the Amateur Radio NewslineT. Our e-mail address is
newsline (at) arnewsline (dot) org. More information is available at
Amateur Radio Newsline'sT only official website located at
www.arnewsline.org. You can also write to us or support us at Amateur
Radio NewslineT, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California, 91350
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors' desk, I'm Hal
Rodgers, K8CMD, saying 73 and a very Happy New Year. See you in 2014 and
as always, we thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.