Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2019, July 9, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2019 with a release date of Saturday, July 9, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  BREAKING NEWS: Amateur Electronic Supply is closing at the end of the month. National Parks on the Air goes to the White House -- and hams mount a tribute to 19 who died in an Arizona wildfire. All this and more in Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2019 coming your way right now.





PAUL/ANCHOR: Before this week's report, we have a personal note, and a somber one for many of us at Amateur Radio Newsline, and in the larger community of amateurs. Here's Don Wilbanks, AE5DW.

DON: We've lost another member of the Newsline family.  To my knowledge his voice was never heard an any Newsline newscast but he was no less important.  His name is Dave Booth, KC6WFS.  Dave passed away June 29th.

Dave was Bill Pasternak's neighbor and close friend.  They were colleagues both professionally and in amateur radio.  They shared a love of 6 meters, among many other common interests.  Bill was a camera buff and video engineer, Dave was a camera operator for Disney.  Dave Booth worked with Bill and the late Dave Bell, W6AQ on one of the more recent ARRL amateur radio videos, 2011's The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio.  Dave Booth was the principal videographer.  Dave did a lot of back stage and behind the scenes work for Amateur Radio Newsline as well, but it was as Bill Pasternak's sounding board and confidante where Dave shined brightest.  I can't tell you how many times I answered the phone over the last 20 years to be greeted by Bill's cheerful hello, only to be followed closely by "Dave is here, say hi to Dave".  That was always a treat.  Those high level Newsline planning meetings with Bill and Dave were most often held in a very special location... Dave's hot tub.  Ah, Southern California living at it's best.

As for my memories of Dave Booth, I only had the fortune to meet him once and spend a Huntsville Hamfest weekend with him and Bill.  It was sometime around 1997 I think.  Dave traveled with Bill to Huntsville for the Young Ham Of the Year award presentation.  It was standard practice for Bill to fly into Birmimgham because it was less expensive.  He would stay the night with David Black, KB4KCH and, as my route from south Louisiana took me through Birmingham, Bill would ride with me the 100 miles north to Huntsville.  Dave was a lot of fun to hang around with that weekend.

Dave and I shared a love of fast cars and motorcycles.  Dave did a V8 conversion on a Datsun 240Z and shot lots of drag race pics over the years.  He owned a 1968 Camaro SS/RS.  Knowing our shared love of Camaros and Firebirds, it was a no brainer to call Dave when I found my dream car, a 1973 Firebird Trans Am for sale online.  The car was located in Huntington Beach, California.  Dave offered to drive 90 minutes to inspect the car and video the test drive for me.  As this was 1999, pre-YouTube, that video tape, in VHS-C format, and the adaptor required for me to play it on my full size VHS VCR, was FedExed overnight to me by Dave.  I bought the car based solely on that video and Dave's opinion of the car.  Were it not for Hurricane Katrina I would still own that car.  That's the kind of guy Dave Booth was.  Always ready and willing to help out however and whenever he could.

Dave battled chronic pain and depression for most of his life.  He was devastated when Bill passed away and Dave Bell's passing only made that worse.  Dave and I spoke regularly in the year since Bill's passing about matters related to Newsline and Bill's estate.  I last spoke with him only a week or two before he died.  He leaves behind a wife and daughter.  He is in a better place now.  Likely a hot tub in Heaven with Bill and Dave Bell.

Dave Booth, KC6WFS.  He was a good man.

We'll miss you, Dave.

PAUL: That was Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, remembering Dave Booth, KC6WFS, now a Silent Key.



PAUL/ANCHOR: This week's newscast begins with Breaking News: Amateur Electronic Supply, the second-largest ham radio dealer in the U.S., is closing. The Milwaukee-based seller plans to shut its doors at the end of the this month after more than 50 years of serving the amateur radio community. Amateur Electronic Supply has four locations: Its corporate headquarters in Milwaukee; the Cleveland area; Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida.

The business began as a venture by a then-18-year-old Terry Sterman, W9DIA, in Milwaukee in 1957. It was founded as Amateur Electronic Supply, LLC in 1998, according to business records, including Bloomberg. Terry Sterman became a Silent Key in 1999.



PAUL/ANCHOR: Arizona's tragic Yarnell Hill fire isn't likely to be forgotten and neither are the 19 firefighters whose lives were claimed in the 2013 blaze. Amateur Radio Newsline's Mike Askins, KE5CXP, reports on some hams who are making sure those memories stay fresh.

MIKE: In Prescott, Arizona, June 30 marks a painful anniversary: On that date in 2013, wildfire-fighting specialists known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots set out to safeguard the former gold-mining town of Yarnell from an advancing blaze. That brave effort left the hotshot unit virtually destroyed, with only 1 of the 20 men surviving their mission. This past June 30 also marked another anniversary: the third year of the Yavapai (Yah-Vah-Pie) Amateur Radio Club's special event station operated in memory, and in honor, of those who perished. The amateurs worked the bands with the call N7GMH and despite poor conditions on several of them, completed almost 300 contacts, mostly from points east.

By all accounts it was an emotional tribute. Said Don Bauer, WB7TPH, QUOTE "Quite a few of our contacts are from people who are or have been either firefighters or wildland firefighters. They, of course, share in the loss of these men." ENDQUOTE

Doug Freeman, KV8TD, said the event's success is measured not just in its contacts but in the sense of appreciation the community had for the on-air activity. Freeman said that before the station began this year's operation, he got to speak to Brendan McDonough, the sole survivor of the 2013 fire, and to two women who worked with the firefighters' families. Of McDonough, Freeman said, QUOTE "if he had not been out of town, Brendan would have joined us at the station." ENDQUOTE

N7GMH worked out of the club station and at one of several coordinated home stations. The contacts stayed as local as Prescott on 2m, and as far away as New York, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Canada and even Venezuela.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mike Askins, KE5CXP.


PAUL/ANCHOR: Marking the National Parks' centennial, one group of Washington, D.C. area hams recently elected themselves to the White House. That is to say, they elected to operate there on the grounds. Here's my report on those hams with not-quite presidential ambitions.

PAUL: If your goal is to get to the White House in an election year, it usually means a lot of campaigning, debating, shaking hands and expensive television ads, unless you happen to be the HACDC Amateur Radio Club in Washington, D.C. Then all you need is a portable radio, a small antenna and permission. They recently operated from the White House grounds which is an actual national park. I recently spoke with Don Jones, K6ZO, who said they had a whole lot of fun -- in fact they had so much fun...

DON: ...We had so much fun we're going to come back on the 25th of August for a full-blown day. Aug. 25 is the day that the National Parks celebrates their 100th anniversary.

PAUL: Jones said that for the short time they were on the air this first time they made quite a few contacts.

DON: We were on 20 meters CW mainly and we were there doing a demonstration for about 30 minutes and we made 22 contacts. We had a special call sign, which was Whiskey-Three-Hotel, for White House. Propagation was really good.

PAUL: They plan to return. The next time they want it to be much bigger.

DON: we just flit in and out with a backpack and a portable station, but we are going to go down and find out from the National Parks what we need to do, because we want to set up a tent, a banner, and sort of celebrate the centennial with the parks service.

PAUL: If you're in the Washington, D.C., area and want to find out more about the club, visit their website at and listen for them to be on the air again this August. They still won't have to buy television time or kiss any babies though.

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



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the K7MRG repeater in Prescott, Arizona on Tuesday evenings.


PAUL/ANCHOR: Amateur radio's response has to be real, whether the earthquake is the real thing too, or just simulated, as was the case in western Canada. Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW, has that story.

JOHN'S REPORT: The special effects company spared no effort when it came to simulating the devastating after effects of a magnitude 9 earthquake, but this Pacific Coast scene wasn't conjured up by some Hollywood script. This was the West Coast of Canada's Vancouver Island, where disabled landlines and knocked-out cellular service could have been real, but weren't. What WAS real, however, were the Canadian Forces patrol planes flying over the Rockies, and the ham radio operators on the ground, relaying disaster and rescue information to them using amateur radio frequencies.

The fictional earthquake was followed by at least two equally fictional tsunamis, bringing disaster to Port Alberni, northwest of Victoria, Canada. That region is home to about 18,000 people -- and that part is NOT fiction. Hence the need for the drill, called Exercise Coastal Response.

In all, more than 600 people and 60 organizations took part in the three-day response staged by the government of British Columbia and thankfully, not Mother Nature.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm John Williams, VK4JJW.

PAUL/ANCHOR: In the Philippines, a simulated earthquake scenario was also held late last month by the National Telecommunications Commission there. Members of the Philippines Amateur Radio Society established field stations on high ground and worked on VHF, UHF and HF relaying emergency messages. Association spokesman Jojo Vicencio DU1VHY said it was the second drill of its kind and drew its lessons from a previous, similar drill.

(The PROVINCE newspaper; IARU Region 3)



PAUL: Boy Scouts on the air as K2BSA aren't just operating, they're upgrading. Here's the story from Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Stearns NE4RD.

BILL'S REPORT: This week in Radio Scouting we have 3 scout camps on the air as K2BSA, an upcoming radio scout net, and the scout loan stations are being upgraded.

Our portable zero station is still active at Camp Geiger in St. Joseph MO and will continue to be through July 22nd.  Our portable five station at the Philmont Scout Ranch continues as well in NM through September 1st.  Finally, our portable 8 station at Camp Wynadot in Wakeman, OH will continue to be active on Wednesdays through July 21st.

Chris Overbey, KB5UBT, has volunteered to host a monthly Radio Scouting Net on the second Thursday of every month. His first net will be at 10 PM Central time, Thursday, July 14 (which is also 0300 UTC Friday, July 15). Frequency is 7.190 MHz, +- the QRM. Chris is located in the Dallas, Texas, area.

Icom America has provided 10 complete stations for loan to local councils since 2012. They are now in the process of updating their kits, replacing the IC-7200 with the new IC-7300.  With it's touch screen and panadapter display, it meets Scouts where they live, with their smartphone.

Please help support this activity, and others involving youth in amateur radio, by working and spotting them on the air and online.  For more information on K2BSA and radio scouting, please visit

For Amateur Radio Newsline and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, this is Bill Stearns NE4RD.



DXers should keep their receivers tuned to hear Aurelio, IZ8EGM, in Monaco, where he is active as 3A/IZ8EGM until July 15th. He's working on a variety of HF bands. Send QSLs via his home callsign.

Martinez, HK3Y, will be active between July 18 and July 23 as 5J0Y from San Andres Island. He'll be working a few of the HF bands so listen up. He's on the air to commemorate Colombian independence. Send QSLs to HK3Y.

Ady, DK5ON, is working as EA6/DK5ON holiday style from Mallorca Island until July 22nd. Send QSLs via DK5ON, direct, by the Bureau or LoTW.



PAUL/ANCHOR: In Mississippi, one group of hams finally found the perfect site for their much-needed repeater. Perfect -- except it had no power source, other than the sun shining overhead. Amateur Radio Newsline's Kent Peterson, KC0DGY tells what happened next.

MATT HICKMAN: We're hoping to get the word out about the solar-powered repeater. I think it is very exciting.  The state of Mississippi has just fired up its first solar-powered repeater and we hope to get good use out of it over the next few years.

KENT: That's Matt Hickman AF5FM of Pontotoc, Mississippi.  He was looking for repeater sites in his county and found one.

MATT: It's an abandoned farm with four grain elevator silos and that is where we have the antenna mounted 92 feet above the ground.

KENT: With absolutely no AC power on that abandoned farm.

MATT: Initially we were going to use a site with power but availability just wasn't there.

KENT: So Matt designed a solar-charging battery system to power his UHF repeater.

MATT: We have so far put together two separate arrays totaling 225 watts. The first array powers just the radio. The second array powers just the

KENT: Matt says he has some voltage-monitoring relays so should one side of the solar-charging battery system drop below a prescribed level, it will
switch over to the other battery assuring the repeater will stay on the air.

MATT: We started out trying to determine the integrity of the system. The system has to run at least 24 hours continuous use. One of the biggest
factors was how much changing output one gets in summer vs winter.

KENT: His project will continue to grow.

MATT: As we approach September we're looking to add another 225-watt array.  We'll have to double the array to get through the winter months.

KENT: After figuring in the duplexer and feed line losses and the gain of the antenna, Matt's repeater is pushing out a bit below 100 watts effective

MATT: We're getting out about 18 miles and that's pretty much right to the borders of the county. As it stands, I think it will be going for a very long time. We've really learned a lot and what demands the system calls for when you're trying to acquire your energy from the sun.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY

PAUL/ANCHOR: The AF5FM repeater operates on 444.500 with a positive offset and tone
of 131.8.



PAUL/ANCHOR: Speaking going green, we close this week's newscast with another story about the power of green energy on the air. Operating on the power of sun and wind at a site in Ireland, one noted contester has his hopes as high as the hill he works from. Here's Newsline's Jeremy Boot, G4NJH.

JEREMY: It's summer, and Olivier ON4EI/EI8GQB is back on his familiar hilltop in Ireland. More than any other radio amateur, he is truly in his elements. In his case, these elements happen to be mostly wind and sun -- and he is using both to power his station.

Olivier has big plans. His blog on QRZ.COM describes his antenna park and the rest of his station, reminiscent of a Field Day setup: He'll be on the air from now until the 12th of August, using six antennas and two radios operating on five bands.

Any successes he has he will owe to band conditions, skilled operation and green energy as he competes in the IARU HF World Championship with the call sign EI1A on 9 July and 10 July, and in the Island on the Air Contest from 30 July to 31 July.

Olivier writes in his blog: QUOTE "Wow! What a pleasure to be back again on the hill and being alone for two weeks in the middle of nature. This place is my lonely paradise where I can refill my social batteries." ENDQUOTE

Of course, he will also be recharging his scorecard's batteries. He'll need them to qualify for the World Radiosport Team Championship in Germany. As ambitions go, that's pretty powerful too, green energy or not.

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



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; Bloomberg; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; The Province newspaper; QRZ; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; Wireless Institute of Australia; WTWW Shortwave; the Yavapai Amateur Radio Club; 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

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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