Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2016, June 17, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2016 with a release date of Friday, June 17, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A noted DXer dies after a fall from a tower. Amateurs and CB radio operators team up - seriously! - to watch the weather. Another NASA astronaut becomes a ham and a California city takes earthquake lessons from Nepal. All this and more in Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2016 coming your way right now.





STEPHEN: This week's newscast opens with word of a tragic accident that has hit hard within the international ham radio community: Well known DX-peditioner and DXer Milt Jensen N5IA of Virden New Mexico died on June 9th after falling from a ham radio tower.  Newsline's Kent Peterson KC0DGY spoke with Jensen's wife Rulene (Roo Lean), KB5VTM

RULENE: He was just an avid DXer contest person, if we got in the car he was on the radio all the time. He loved building new things.  The challenge of building a better antenna system.

KENT: Newsline reached out to Milt Jensen's wife Rulene KB5VTM who shared some of her memories of Milt's DX-peditions.

RULENE: Actually he did three, He went to Myanmar twice ...  the first time I went along with him, that was an eye opener to me.  He had me get on. I think I had two minutes and everybody was getting irritated with me because I didn't know what I was doing and I got off and gave it back to him  He loved it. They were there to do the 160 part, that was his main joy he loved doing 160.  Other than Myanmar he went to Ducie Island with an international group. I got on his Facebook over the past couple of days. They all responded to it from Germany, Lithuania.  I always teased him about living on Gilligan's island. That's what that island looked like to me with the pictures.

KENT: Rulene got her ham license just to stay in touch with Milt.

RULENE: He was always gone to a mountain top to do something.  We didn't have cell phones back then. He convinced me to get my license. I got my license so that I could get hold of him when I needed to, that didn't always work either.

KENT: Milt worked for a power utility and learned climbing safety from them.

RULENE: He was trained in all the safety stuff, he always said ... Tie off ... Tie off ... Tie off. Have your gear on.  He wasn't careless about climbing.

KENT: On June 9th Milt was in Tuscon to help a fellow ham.

RULENE: The tower he was working on was for a friend and fellow ham that lives in Tuscon that doesn't climb  and so he went to do do whatever tower work was needed on his tower for him.

KENT: Besides Rulene two of Milt's sons also have ham licenses.

RULENE: My husband had told our oldest son sometimes his hand went to sleep and he couldn't hang on and so we're thinking that's what it was because he stressed safety.  If that was the case I'm going to slap him when I get up to Heaven.

KENT: Milt Jensen K5IA was 73 years old. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson, KC0DGY.

STEPHEN: As a postscript to Milt's passing, we also note that a day later, in Radcliff, Kentucky, police reported that a man was seriously injured after a fall of about 30 feet from an amateur radio tower. He remained conscious while emergency workers transported him to a hospital in Louisville where, at press time, there were no further updates on his condition or what led to his fall. With both these stories in mind, Amateur Radio Newsline urges listeners, on a personal note, to please adhere to strict safety practices when doing any tower work.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Can CBers and ham radio operators work hand-in hand? The answer is yes, in one Alabama County, where we hear more from Newsline's Bobby Best, WX4ALA.

BOBBY'S REPORT: In the community of weather watchers, the critical information passed by storm spotters who receive formal training from the National Weather Service is known as "ground truth." Those details are lifelines. When serious weather and tornados hit places like Dixie Alley, comprising much of the Southeast, the weather is  severe and right now the region is bracing for the Atlantic hurricane season, which just started on June 1.

In Jefferson County, Alabama -- the most populated county in that southern state - a unique kind of partnership has become paramount. Amateur radio operators, passing along this vital "ground truth" alongside another group of radio operators as part of what some might consider an unlikely team. These other spotters, who are also trained by the weather service, work on the 11-meter band. That's right, you can find them on CB radio. The deployment of CB'ers and hams has been a priority for the Sylvan Springs Amateur Radio Club in western Jefferson County and they're proud of their effort.

According to James Keller KF4JQP, a charter member and current president of the club, QUOTE "We've reached out to members of the community that are NWS trained spotters, but that don't hold an Amateur Radio license and invited them into our meetings and circles"... "While we would hope that one day they will become interested in gaining their Amateur Radio license, but until that day comes, there is a way that they can assist at saving lives!" ENDQUOTE

The Sylvan Springs Amateur Radio Club has installed at their E.O.C. an 11-Meter or CB radio base station with its antenna located high atop their ham tower. Keller added; "whenever we go into a stand-by alert status, in addition to monitoring our own 2-Meter repeater, as well as other severe weather NETS, we also monitor 27.065 Mhz or channel 9, which is a reserved and restricted channel, by The FCC, for emergency communication only!" Any information we receive that meets The NWS' criteria for severe weather, damage reports, or any other emergency traffic, we can then immediately pass on via Amateur Radio, to stations at; The NWS, The EMA, The Red Cross, or even to Alabama's State E.O.C. via 80-Meters on our state's designated HF emergency frequency on 3.965 Mhz" ENDQUOTE

CB and ham radio operators may seem, at times, to be on different parts of the spectrum - in more ways than one - but the idea of this kind of teamwork is catching on in Jefferson County, Alabama!

From the perspective of this meteorologist, such creative deployment of radio operators can only lead to expanded weather coverage and, in Dixie Alley, that's a good thing.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bobby Best, WX4ALA in Jasper, Alabama.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Speaking of weather, one New York ham's devotion to watching for storm systems has won him special recognition. Here's Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD.

HEATHER'S REPORT: Dave Robinson, N-4-U-A-R, of Oswego County, New York, isn't exactly a fair-weather friend. What would be the point of that, anyway? His skills and volunteer efforts are especially needed when bad storm systems roll in. He is a trained weather spotter in the SKYWARN program of the National Weather Service and a member of the county's Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services.

More recently, Dave became an emergency communications honoree, receiving this year's RACES Service Award for his work in central New York, where he joined RACES in 2008. That work has not just garnered him honors; it has also kept him busy and made him a leader during drills as well as real weather emergencies.

Dave was praised at a recent RACES meeting by Radio Officer Fred Koch, K-A-2-H-P-G. Fred said: QUOTE “Dave is one of the first to show up for RACES work details. He is a quiet individual who is invaluable to the group as a leader and mentor." ENDQUOTE

He now has the award to remind him of that - just in case he gets too busy during the storm season ahead.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, K-B-3-T-Z-D.




STEPHEN: There's a new ham in town. Actually ABOVE town. He's way, WAY above town! He's NASA astronaut Scott Tingle, now known as KG5NZA. Having passed his technician exam on June 3, he is now getting ready to join the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, program.

Although amateur radio studies are optional during the two years of astronaut training he began in Russia, his interest in ham radio grew during his studies and he was determined to exercise that option.

Meanwhile, three amateurs aboard the ISS are to be back home on Earth by Saturday, June 18. They are Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra, KE5UDN; Flight Engineer Tim Peake, KG5BVI/GB1SS, and Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUJP. So with the crew up there always in transition, Scott Tingle can expect to find plenty of room when he launches with the Expedition 53 crew in the fall of 2017.



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the W4WVP repeater in Arlington, Virginia on Tuesday nights at 7.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In amateur radio, as in most things, it's not just what you know but WHO you know. One ham in Queensland, Australia found that out a few years ago when the "who you know" ended up being an astronaut from Australia. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp, VK4BB, with that story.

GRAHAM: Shane Lynd, VK4KHZ, of central Queensland didn't exactly have high-flying ambitions on that day, 18 years ago, when his signal was picked up unexpectedly by Australia's man in space, Andy Thomas, VK5MIR, on board the Russian space station Mir.

It turned out to be more than just a memorable QSO: That radio connection got him to thinking about his personal connections to space and how many learning opportunities await in the great, vast void above the earth.

Not long after, Shane was invited to join as one of three Australian volunteers, working with NASA, supporting Amateur Radio on the International Space Station. Surely Shane could relate to the thrill students would have connecting with voices in space, since he'd experienced that himself. He would also be on standby, having his shack available to NASA in case of an emergency, such as a lost communications link with the space station.

Along the way, Shane made some important ground-based connections too. Now, in local schools, he brings and demonstrates one of his tracking stations to students and helps them have the same space experience he enjoyed with Andy Thomas.

That happened recently, when he helped students at Glenmore State High School in Rockhampton contact Tim Kopra,  KE5UDN, commander of the ISS. As part of the ARISS volunteer team, he is working to help plan plenty more connections like that. If space is a void, Shane Lynd hopes to be out there personally, doing his very best to fill that void -- with the sound of ham radio, of course.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp, VK4BB




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: There's a great distance between Nepal and the state of California, but when it comes to being vulnerable to earthquakes, the two are a lot closer than most people can imagine. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash, N5ASH.

SKEETER's REPORT: The story of the 2015 Nepal earthquake is a story worth telling again and again -- not just because it's important to remember the horror of that April day, but to learn from the response by radio amateurs who stepped in.

That was the narrative that one of the amateurs from Kathmandu shared earlier this month on a visit to Santa Clara, California. Sanjeeb Panday, 9N1SP, made his presentation to an audience of about 100, comprising Santa Clara firefighters, ARES and RACES members, Bay-Net participants and others in that city. Panday's visit was arranged to help in fine-tuning earthquake response in this California region, especially since the Kathmandu Valley where the April 2015 quake occurred, has a pattern of fault lines similar to those beneath this Silicon Valley city.

Panday told his listeners: QUOTE "The Nepali people have gone through a tremendous ordeal. If our experience can help others in different parts of the world [to] better prepare for disasters, then this can be regarded as a positive outcome.” ENDQUOTE

Panday had come to the U.S. for the International Microwave Symposium, where he talked about ham radio in post-secondary education. But he was pleased to be able to share how ham radio provided emergency response and continued to make post-quake relief available. The magnitude 7.9 quake is considered to be the worst to hit Nepal in 80 years.

His hosts and listeners had something to share with him as well. He was given two hand-held transceivers as gifts to Scouts in Nepal from local Scout leader Richard Silkebakken, KM6CPH, and members of the Monterey Bay Council's Cub Scout Pack 32. The Global Nepali Professional Network also received a certificate of recognition from Congress, presented by Rep. Mike Honda. It was the Network's Radio Mala program that built two ham radio repeaters which were the only ones able to operate in Nepal during the quake.

Speaking of repeaters, Panday made note of their successful operation and encouraged licensed hams attending the presentation to join him and his fellow hams on the 9N1SP repeater via IRLP and EchoLink. They'll be listening - as always.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Skeeter Nash, N5ASH.



STEPHEN: Hams in Malaysia associate the callsign 9M2RDX with a top DXer, a mentor, a friend. This month, however, he became a Silent Key. Here's Newsline's Jason Daniels, VK2LAW, with more.

JASON's REPORT: Members of the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters Society are grieving the loss of Mohd Rizal Mahmud, 9M2RDX, who became a Silent Key on the 12th of June in a Malaysian hospital. The award-winning DXer was a noted contester and beloved Elmer who was also active in Scouting. Since becoming licensed in 2006, he filled his life with amateur-radio activities.

His friend, Piju 9M2PJU, who notified Amateur Radio Newsline of Rizal's death, described him as QUOTE "a great man, down to earth, humble. A motivated and dedicated QSL manager. Also a Scout leader. A great motivator [who] used to hold ham radio introduction classes and [was] involved in emergency communications. He helped his local ham radio community and also our national ham radio club."


A hospital medical assistant by profession, he was described by his friend Piju as a "kind and helpful guy." As seen on his profile page on QRZ, he was also unfliching in his love of amateur radio. The very bottom of his biography page displays this sentiment: "Life is simple. Eat. Sleep. DX." 

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jason Daniels, VK2LAW.



In the world of DX, there are still a few remaining days to work Koji JM1CAX, who will stay on in Gambia as C5NX until June 18. QSLs should be directed to Logbook of The World.

Nobuaki JA0JHQ is active as 9N7NH from Katmandu, Nepal from June 16th to 20th, and will participate in the All-Asian DX Contest on June 18 and 19. QSL via his home call.

Using the callsign 3B8/M0RCX, Robert M0RCX is operating holiday style from Mauritis until July 14th. QSL Manager is EB7DX.

Listen for John K9EL working as FS/K9EL from St. Martin Island until June 23rd. He is on all bands 80 to 6m working CW, SSB and RTTY. QSLs can be obtained via Club Log OQRS.




There's nothing like kicking back on a sunny day, afloat in the South Pacific, doing a little low-power transmitting on 30 meters. As the weather turns warmer, what ham WOULDN'T envy this kind of privilege?

OK, well, that call sign doesn't belong to any OM or even a YL, but a marine buoy with the call sign ZL1SIX. That's spelled B-U-O-Y, for marine buoy. This is a solar-powered buoy, being carried steadily on the waters of the Pacific Ocean, where it was launched from a yacht this past May 17.

Being at sea like this can be a good thing. In this case, the ocean floater is helping track sea currents and propatation. New Zealand amateur Bob Sutton, ZL1RS, noted in a published report that its weak signal on WSPR and JT9 modes has been reporting on the tides, current and wind, also sending its battery voltage, position and information about the temperature.

To tune in, try dialing to 10.1387 MHz for WSPR. For JT9 signal, be listening just above the "WSPR band" at 1730Hz on the waterfall.

You'll get everything but that nice South Pacific breeze.


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Facebook; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; Monica Grimaldo of Tucson News Now; QSL.Net, Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; 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 located at

June 30th will be here before you know it. That's our deadline to nominate candidates for the Bill Pasternak Young Ham of the Year Award. Please visit our website at and click on the tab that says "Y-H-O-T-Y" for information and an application. Remember to mail your applications to the New York address printed on the application.

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Paul Braun, WD9GCO, in Valparaiso, Indiana saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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