Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1991, December 29, 2015

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Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1991 with a release date of Tuesday, December 29, 2015 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A California amateur faces a $25,000 fine from the FCC. Field Day is coming - yes, Winter Field Day. A DXer surprises the world from North Korea.  And a survey says older contesters are still going strong. All this and more in Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1991 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here and Intro)



[DON/ANCHOR:] We open this week's newcast with the story of a California radio amateur who has just learned the high price of interference and other inappropriate transmissions on the bands. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Damron, N8TMW, has more:


In what ends a protracted FCC case against a ham for intentional interference, a California radio operator faces a fine of as much as $25,000.

William F. Crowell, W6WBJ, formerly licensed as N6AYJ, had received warnings from the agency's Enforcement Bureau about intentional radio interference as early as 2000. The Diamond Springs ham, whose license expired in 2007, was nonetheless permitted to continue operating after the FCC in 2008 designated his license renewal application as pending and subject to a hearing. The FCC had flagged that renewal application following complaints that he had been interfering with other amateurs, interrupting communications, playing music and transmitting obscenities.

The latest action by the FCC came this past Dec. 18, with the release of its Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture.  The notice, from the office of FCC San Francisco District Director David K. Hartshorn, was spurred by reports from the Western Amateur Radio Friendship Association, whose members claimed direct interference from Crowell during their Net in August. An investigation by the Enforcement Bureau followed and it details its findings in the Notice.

The FCC Notice says, in part, that Crowell "repeatedly interrupted other amateurs using noises, recordings and music, in addition to talking over amateurs affiliated with the WARFA Net, so as not to allow them to transmit on the frequency. His transmissions and recordings included racial, ethnic and sexual slurs and epithets."

The FCC Enforcement Bureau, which was monitoring the transmissions, noted too that the interference did not stop until it had shut the Net down.

The FCC says Crowell acknowledged operating on 3908 kHz on most nights, and that he was on the air the evening of August 27, when the interference was reported.

He has been given 30 days from the release of the Notice to pay the forfeiture or to file in writing seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed penalty.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Damron, N8TMW, in Charleston, West Virginia.




It looks like the giving spirit of the holiday season is going to last quite a bit longer, thanks to a new fund known as "Hams with Hearts."

The fund is being launched by the International DX Association, with a starting contribution from the fund's founder Zorro Miyazawa, JH1AJT. "Hams with Hearts" aims to provide funding to humanitarian projects undertaken by DXpedition teams and expects to begin providing these grants in just a few weeks - as early as mid-January.

DXpeditioners who apply for the grants are being asked to provide a detailed and clear plan of what project they plan to undertake, and must substantiate the benefits the project will create for the local population. But the applicants must meet certain standards. Projects that simply leave behind radio equipment, teach Amateur licensing classes or create a video will not qualify. Projects that provide First Aid equipment, water purification and medical supplies, as well as educational materials and clothing are more suited for grants from "Hams with Hearts."

Releasing its announcement this month, INDEXA cautioned that startup will be gradual. The announcement said, QUOTE "In the early years of this fund, it is likely that grants will be modest. We therefore will be seeking low-cost but high-impact projects." ENDQUOTE.

The announcement also said QUOTE "With this new fund we hope to benefit humanity and enhance the image of Amateur Radio around the world." More details can be found at




DON/ANCHOR: The idea of participating in Field Day next month might just leave you cold - but that's the whole point. Winter Field Day is coming - and it will be here the last full weekend in January. Amateur Radio Newsline's Kent Peterson, K-C-ZERO-D-G-Y, talked to organizers of this alternative annual event:




The ham radio community mourns the death of George Marti, W5GLJ, a pioneer in the manufacture and deployment of remote pick-up broadcast technology. He became a Silent Key on Dec. 13.

Marti's work not only enabled radio stations to originate broadcasts away from the studio but succeeded in getting the FCC to authorize its use. An early Marti remote pick-up unit of his is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

As the owner of a local radio station, Marti developed his first remote pick-up unit to enable the broadcasting of local high school sports back to the radio studio, without having to rely on phone lines. A veteran of the Marines and a man of varied interests, he had been licensed as a ham since his teens. He later founded Marti Electronics, which he sold in 1994.

George Marti was 95 and was the mayor of Cleburn, Texas, where he died.




Participants in the CQ World Wide Contest may be young at heart, but according to recently released survey results, they're older than you may think. Preliminary survey results posted by the contest committee reveal that young competitors were far outnumbered by much older amateurs.

Doug Zwiebel, KR2Q, who prepared the analysis, reported QUOTE "This is especially true when we look at the age distribution in North America. There is very little survey participation in North America from those under 40 years of age. More than 900 of the nearly 1500 respondents from North America were at least 60 years old." ENDQUOTE

The survey drew 5117 responses from around the world, with the largest number - 2,600 - from Europe. The good news for younger hams comes from Europe, however: CQ said the age curve showed participants there to be about 10 years younger.

The other good news comes from fans of CW: Without exception, Morse Code remains the most popular operating mode, especially among contesters age 40 and older.




Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the WR9ARC repeater of the Riverland Amateur Radio Club in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on Sundays.



[ANCHOR/DON]: Fighting some of the worst HF conditions in recent days, a Polish DXer has put North Korea back on the air. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot, G4NJH, has the details:

[JEREMY:] It was a triumph of history, meteorology, international politics and most especially radio when DXer, Dom Gryzb, 3Z9DX, fired up his rig and began making the first of what was to become a few hundred QSOs from North Korea, beginning the 20th of December at 0000 UTC. Working both 20 meters and 15 meters SSB as P5/3Z9DX, his transmissions put that nation back on the amateur airwaves for the first time since 2002.

It was, by most accounts, a surprise. the Polish radio amateur had been meeting with North Korea officials working out the details for next year's planned operation from what is the world's most-wanted DXCC entity. Pileups of anxious amateurs rallied around his call, and a few hundred stations eagerly jumped in and made contact. North Korea had been off the bands since the conclusion of the 2001-2002 operation by 4L4FN.

While it all caught the rest of the world quite unexpectedly, North Korean officials were, of course, privy to what was going on: Gryzb took to the bands to demonstrate for them what it would be like in February 2016, during his longer, hoped-for operation there.

The sun, it turns out, proved to be the biggest obstacle in play, as a huge coronal mass ejection raised the A index to 66 and the K index to 6, producing some of the worst HF conditions recently. By the dawn of Monday, the 21 of December, conditions had grown less favorable. Gryzb is now working out the remaining logistics in preparation for February when, hopefully, the sun will cooperate too.

In the meantime, stations were being advised to keep contacts short out of courtesy to other operators.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot, G4NJH, in Nottingham, the UK.

[DON/ANCHOR]: In the latest news reports, Gryzb was heading back to Poland for Christmas and to make preparations to return to Korea for his 2016 DX adventure.




Friday, Jan. 1, doesn't just mark New Year's Day: In Ireland, it is also "80 Meters Counties Contest Day" for radio amateurs. The wide-ranging contest has both fixed stations and portable sections, with SSB only or mixed modes. The competition runs from 1400 to 1700 UTC, using 32 EI and GI counties as multipliers.

Good news for operators who enjoy CW: to encourage more CW in the mixed mode sections, organizers are giving a bonus of 1,000 points to any entry that includes at least 10 valid QSOs done in CW with an EI or GI station. The contest has also set 3522 kHz as its suggested "center of activity" for CW.
May the best contesters win.




It's still more than a year away, but researchers at the Hume Center for National Security and Technology are very excited about the 2017 launch of an amateur radio transponder with a special disaster mission.

The geosynchronous satellite amateur radio payload is being dispatched to assist in emergency communications, according to the center's Director of Research, Bob McGwier, N4HY. McGwier described the ambitious goals for the payload by saying QUOTE "It will allow rapid deployment to disaster areas and support long-haul communications for first responders," ENDQUOTE It would become the first amateur payload in a geosynchronous orbit.

The Hume Center has been working with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials on the project. We expect to hear more over the next year as efforts go forward.




The ARRL's Alaska Section welcomes its new manager, Ray Hollenbeck, K-L-ONE-I-L (KL1IL), of Wasilla, Alaska, who has been appointed to succeed Jim Larsen, AL7FS.
Hollenbeck, who begins his term on Jan. 1, has been an ARRL Emergency Coordinator for almost 7 years.

Larsen, who is from Anchorage, has served as section manager for the past eight years and decided not to seek another term. Hollenbeck was appointed by ARRL Manager of Field Services and Radiosport Dave Patton, NN1N, in consultation with Northwestern Division Director Jim Pace, K7CEX, and Larsen.

Larsen, who will complete his fourth term as Alaska SM at year’s end, decided not to run for another term after serving for the past 8 years.




In one school in a remote Alaskan Eskimo village, ham radio has graduated with honors.

With support from the local district, the Pilot Station School recently made amateur radio an integral part of its curriculum. The Pilot Station School Radio Club, WL7CXM, is now moving from simply being an after-school program to a serious during-school offering.

The club was created by fifth grade teacher, Donn Gallon, KL7DG, with a variety of goals: to teach geography, to help students' command of the standard English language, to give them confidence by expressing themselves on a microphone, and also to help them read and be more social.

Gallon said QUOTE "Many of the kids have trouble imagining the world beyond our region or Alaska as a whole. They are excited to pull down the globe off the shelf and find the places we are talking or listening to. This has helped them in social studies as they are getting their world view expanded by radio." ENDQUOTE

The club, which began as an informal, after-school activity, now is a district-sanctioned educational program. The club has already participated in the School Club Roundup, where it achieved its Worked All States award by landing its 50th contact - an amateur in Oklahoma.

Gallon said his next goal is to set up a team to work with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. That would put Alaska's youngest amateurs, not just in the classroom itself, but unquestionably at the head of the class.



Henrik, OZ6TL, is active as E51TLA from Raratonga Island (OC-013) through January 9th. He is working holiday style on the HF bands, usually mainly CW and RTTY on 30 and 20 meters. QSL via his home callsign or LoTW.

Hardy, DL7LL, is also active on Raratonga Island. He is working as E51LLA through December 28. He did not indicate what bands or modes, however, but be listening. QSL via DL7LL.

Jean-Pierre, F6ITD, will be active as FG/F6ITD from Guadeloupe and two of its islands between January 20th and March 28th. These islands include Basse Terre Deshaies (main island, between January 20th and February 2nd) and La Desirade Island (between March 3-8th). He will work all HF bands, both on SSB and in digital modes. Listen for the callsign TO6D. QSL via his home callsign, direct or LoTW.

Bill, K9HZ, is working as J68HZ from his villa at Labrelotte Bay, Castries, St. Lucia through January 3rd, with activity mostly on 160-2 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. He will emphasize 160 and 80 meters on all modes. QSL via his home callsign, although he will also use LoTW, ClubLog and eQSL.




One final sad note.  Longtime Newsline listeners will remember the voice of Mert Garlick, N6AWE.  We're saddened to report that Mert became a silent key Wednesday December 23rd.  Mert was an engineer with Fox Television in Los Angeles from 1966 until his retirement in 2003.  He worked with the late Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF at Fox 11.  Over the years he did every job a broadcast engineer could perform at a television station.  From manning the transmitter atop Mt. Wilson to microwaving signals back from the scene of a breaking news story to covering the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Mert did it all and then some.  The funeral will be held December 30th in Long Beach, California and he will be buried alongside his late wife in Wyoming.  Sadly, she just passed 4 months ago.  He is survived by 3 children, 2 of which are also hams.  Mert Garlick, N6AWE was 75.



With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; DX.NET; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; The Hindustan Times; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; INDEXA; the Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Southgate Amateur Radio News; TWiT TV; and you our listeners, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline. Our email address is More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's only official website located at You can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita, CA 91350.

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, in Picayune, Mississippi, wishing you the merriest of Christmases and happiest of Holidays.  73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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