Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1998, February 12, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1998 with a release date of Friday, February 12, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Tragedy strikes Taiwan - and hams are ready! The ARRL renews its long relationship with the American Red Cross. A hospital in Brazil, Indiana, prepares to go on the air. And World Radio Day is coming: what are YOUR plans? All this and more in Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1998 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here and Intro)



SKEETER: This week's newscast opens with yet another reminder of the life-saving work that radio amateurs can do by stepping in to assist in natural disasters. We hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp, on the latest following the deadly earthquake in Taiwan.

GRAHAM: Sitting on what is known as the "Pacific Rim of Fire," another earthquake - this one, with a magnitude of 6.4 - has rocked the island of Taiwan on Saturday, Feb. 6, It set off the collapse of several buildings, a signal went out from the Chinese Taipei Amateur Radio League, asking that several voice frequencies be kept clear.

The Hong Kong Amateur Radio Transmitting Society reported that they heard it - as a weak transmission - but it was nonetheless heard. Locally, hams were responding to the arduous rescue that would follow, amid the rubble, in the southwest coastal city of Tainan. Frequencies in Taiwan were to be kept clear on 7.060 MHz with backup 7.050 MHz and 3.560 MHz. Short range frequencies were being used as well on VHF and UHF.

And then came the aftershocks, and tremors were felt even in the capital city of Taipei, on the other side of the island from the stricken city.

Ultimately more than 350 people were rescued in the aftermath, but more than 500 were reported injured, according to the state-owned Central News Agency in Taiwan. Numerous individuals remained trapped inside buildings and rescuers searched for them in the ruins, often by hand. The death toll, by midweek, had risen to nearly 20, and the developers of one residential building in the city were facing charges of professional negligence for alleged shoddy construction.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp. VK4BB, on the East Coast of Australia, part of the Pacific Rim of Fire.




SKEETER: Because emergency preparedness is vital every place disaster strikes, the ARRL and the American Red Cross have a working relationship here in the U.S. It's a relationship they recently reaffirmed, as Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Damron, N8TMW, reports:

JIM: The ARRL and the American Red Cross have signed a new memorandum of understanding that spells out their relationship when disaster strikes and when radio operators are called up for emergency response. The document succeeds the agreement the two organizations signed in 2010 and renews their cooperative relationship.

According to the memorandum, ARES personnal are to be deployed in keeping with a pre-arranged plan in order to keep communications open during emergencies. The document also encourages both organizations to communicate with state and local agencies and to share information regarding disasters and disaster operations.

The ARRL commits to a role encouraging ARES units to work with Red Cross chapters to create plans for disaster relief and emergency response. And, likewise, the Red Cross field units are being encouraged to communicate in planning with ARRL's field units.

The new document also makes it clear that for ARES volunteers to assist the Red Cross, they do not need to undergo a prior background check even if they are not registered Red Cross volunteers. However, hams who are registered Red Cross volunteers must abide by the background check

The document was signed on Jan. 22 and is place for another five years.

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




Washington State amateur Clark Johnson, K7LRK, plans to be at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument on Wednesday, Feb. 17. In fact, you will find him in the parkland's picnic area. But you will also find him on the amateur bands, running 10 watts out of an 18-ounce portable rig. Because Johnson isn't there for a picnic. He's there to activate the site as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air event.

There's one other way to communicate with Johnson, however: Non-hams and hopeful hams can observe him and learn more about amateur radio. He will be there with the Center for Amateur Radio Learning and the Arizona Science Center, and they'll be doing public education and outreach during the event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time.

Come to think of it, that might just make for a nice picnic, after all.




It's not too early to think "marathon." OK, so the Boston Marathon is still several months away but marathon preparation is going on now - and hams in the Boston area are needed to help with communication for a runners' event, a 13.1-mile race called the Marathon Park Prep. It will be held on Saturday, March 19, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The race follows a Figure 8 course through the Town of Ashland, Massachusetts, about 25 miles west of Boston. Runners consider it good training for the big event in the fall.

For more information, email David Wolfe, KG1H, at




The weekend of Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 has been renamed The Carolina Weekend, with the north and the south getting into the act. The South Carolina QSO Party kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 27, followed by the North Carolina QSO Party the next day. The North Carolina Party will feature a new bonus station, W1VOA, The Voice of America, as well as two new bonus counties, Swain and Warren.

There's a free barbecue dinner riding on it, as well, with log entries to be put in a random drawing for a dinner featuring the famous flavors of both states. Let's get this party started. In fact, let's get them both started.




SKEETER: In one Indiana community, a hospital isn't just helping people respond with an ambulance. Now they'll have radios. Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun, WD9GCO, explains:

PAUL: The newest operating room inside St. Vincent Clay Hospital in Brazil, Indiana will only be used for emergency operations - but no one will need to scrub up before stepping inside.

The operating equipment here will consist of two-way radios and other components, and the operations will be conducted by the hams who belong to the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service.

The hospital-based radio center is being underwritten by a grant of nearly $2,000 from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Clay County's Emergency Management Director, Bryan Husband, applied for the grant, with the support of the Clay County Commissioners. The volunteers are to provide assistance during natural disasters and extreme weather events.

Husband was quoted in a recent article in the Brazil Times as saying that the radio shack would be able to communicate, during these emergencies, with other radio operators outside the county, on behalf of the emergency management office. Seems it's just what the doctor ordered, after all.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun,WD9GCO, in Valparaiso, Indiana.




SKEETER: Punxsutawney Phil will never be a ham radio operator. He's a groundhog, after all. But then, he doesn't need a license. He has a devoted group of local hams who go on the air for him. Here's that story from Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD.


While a certain famous groundhog may have put Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on the map, it took a special event station to put Punxsutawney on the air.

While weather-watchers everywhere sat tight for the arrival of Tuesday, Feb. 2, when the legendary rodent emerged from his burrow, hams got a jump on things a few days earlier with QSOs celebrating the time-honored tradition that takes place at Gobblers Knob.

On Saturday, Jan. 30, six members of the Punxsutawney Area Amateur Radio Club and three of their guests, went deep into their own burrow - in this case, the radio shack at the Punxsutawney Airport. But the hams there did anything but hibernate: The operators of K-3-H-W-J worked busy conditions on three bands; 20, 40 and 2 meters.

Club President Steve Waltman, K-B-3-F-P-N told Amateur Radio Newsline that, although lots of activity on the bands made for challenging contacts this year, there were about 100 QSOs by day's end - a respectable number.

Waltman said this is a longstanding annual tradition for the club - though clearly the annual gig by Punxsutawney Phil predates this one by a couple of decades, and predates the age of radio itself by two years. Still, as even the groundhog would tell you - assuming you even asked - there's nothing wrong with working in the shadow of a celebrity, especially a weathercaster like Punxsutawney Phil.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD in Berwick, Pennsylvania.



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.


The hottest thing on TV these days might just turn out to be radio - ham radio, to be exact. Just as TV's "Last Man Standing" has given viewers a sampling of what goes on inside a ham shack, the CW Network has announced it plans a pilot for the 2000 movie, "Frequency," from New Line Cinema. In that sci-fi thriller, the son of a deceased New York City firefighter, makes radio contact with his dad over the father's old ham radio equipment after an aurora borealis alters band conditions across time.

The TV pilot recasts things with a new twist. It follows a female detective who uses her ham radio to communicate with her detective father, who'd died 20 years earlier. If all goes well, the producers may end up being more concerned about RSTs than Nielsens.



We also note some recent changes in the lives of some notable amateurs:

Randy Thompson, K5ZD, is stepping down as the director of the CQ WW Contest, and the search is on for his replacement. Thompson has been director since September 2012, taking on the responsibilities of appointing the contest committee and organizing work that involves log-checking, creating the rules and producing the results, Interested candidates should apply by email to Or send related inquiries directly to CQ Amateur Radio's publisher, Dick Ross, K2MGA, at Thompson will stay on until he is replaced.

ARRL President Emeritus Harry Dannals, W2HD, of Charlottesville, Virginia, was recently honored by the Quarter Century Wireless Association for his 70 years as a ham. The association's chapter in his hometown held a luncheon for him on Feb. 3. Dannals, who is in his late 80s, is the oldest living former president of the ARRL and the only person to have been president of both the ARRL and the Quarter Century Wireless Association, which he served from 1989 to 1994.

And finally, Matt Holden, K-ZERO-B-B-C (K0BBC), has been appointed as the ARRL's Dakota Division Vice Director as of Feb. 4. The Minnesota resident, an ARRL Life Member, succeeds Kent Olson, K-A-ZERO-L-D-G (KA0LDG). Among his other many amateur radio activities, Holden is ARES Emergency Coordinator for the City of Bloomington and a Minnesota Section Public Information Officer. He will serve out the remaining term of the current office, which concludes on Jan. 1, 2017.




It's all over but the counting! The Antique Wireless Association of Southern Africa, Z-S-ZERO-A-W-A (ZS0AWA) is giving participants in its recent CW Activity Day, held on Feb. 7, until Tuesday, March 1, to submit their logs, either by email or postal service. Certificates will be sent to those who are in first, second and third place, and to the amateur with the highest single band score. Email logs to or mail to the association at Post Office Box 12320, Benoryn, 1504.



In 1994, George B. Cline, KP2G, of St John, Virgin Islands, began an effort to provide critical weather details and updates for the greater Virgin Islands community via amateur radio. The Virgin Islands Weather Net was born. Cline had a longtime interest in the weather, and often responded during hurricane disasters as a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

The New York native died on Jan. 11 at the age of 79. He had been a member of the St. John Amateur Radio Club and had served as a radio dispatcher for St. John Rescue. His many efforts also included leading a team that placed repeaters on St. John Island and throughout the Caribbean for emergency radio communications.



Informally, the theme for this year's World Radio Day on Feb. 13 might be "radio to the rescue." But formally, this international event is called "Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster." Indeed, the need for communications certainly keeps hams busy.

Created by the UN's Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, known as UNESCO, the event recognizes that the immediate access to radio frequencies is essential in saving lives, and should be protected so they are available in times of emergency. World Radio Day began in 1946.

A number of amateur radio clubs will be marking the occasion in their own way. In the UK, the Phoenix Amateur Radio Club will be on the air on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 helping honor British Scientists, a commemoration that is part of the official World Radio Day program. UNESCO has asked that groups in all countries mark the day by planning activities in partnership with regional, national and international broadcasters, non-governmental organizations, national authorities, the media and the public.

So while it isn't a real holiday, it is certainly reason to celebrate.




Michael, DF8AN, will be active from Iceland from Feb. 26 to March 1 as TF/DF8AN. QSL via his home call sign.

Gildas, F6HMQ, and Michel, F6GWV, will be active again from Guadeloupe Island, beginning Feb. 26 to March 14 as TO66R, FG/F6HMQ and FG/F6GWV. Send QSL cards via F6HMQ/

In a special event marking the visit of Pope Francis to Mexico, members of the Federacion Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores (FMRE) are using the special callsign 6D0F through Feb. 18. Send QSL cards via XE1LM.

Masato, JA0RQV, will be active as 6Y5/JA0RQV mainly from the Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, starting Feb. 21 through April 17. Activity will be mostly on the weekend and spare time. He will work 160-10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via M0OXO (ORQS) or LoTW.




Fred Crockford, who lives in the Borough of Brentwood, recently told his local newspaper in the UK, "I have been retired longer than some people have been at work."

In fact, Fred, G6YUY, has also likely been on the air longer than many people have been on the planet.

The retired trolley bus driver first went on the amateur bands in the 1920s, when radio operations were governed, he said, by the post office. Now he's not just a licensed ham but a centenarian ham, having just celebrated his 100th birthday.

He said radio has made every one of his many days an adventure. And he told the newspaper the fun is in the surprise discovery of who is available to talk from anywhere in the world. He said: "We talk to whoever happens to be out there on that particular spot and at that particular moment." A 70-foot-long-horizontal aerial carries his voice everywhere - even to Australia.

Fred told the newspaper he still sets aside about two hours every evening to reach out, via radio, to the world. And whether he lands in the United States, New Zealand or Australia, the thrill of DXing is no less a thrill to him at 100 than it was when he was a young man.

It seems that, at 100 years of age, his most treasured birthday gift of all has been the gift of time.

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



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; The Brazil Times; The Brentwood Gazette; the BBC; CNN; CQ Magazine; the CW TV Network; David Wolfe, KG1H; DXCoffee; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the India Times; the Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; the Punxsutawney Area Amateur Radio Club; QRZ.COM.the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society; Southgate Amateur Radio News; TVLine,com; TWiT TV; UNESCO; 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

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, in Topeka, Kansas, saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline is Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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