Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2025, August 19, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2025 with a release date of Friday, August 19,2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  The FCC prepares to study the radio spectrum's noise floor. Radio Caroline returns triumphantly as a Special Event station in the UK. Australian hams celebrate innovation. These stories and an extended special report on amateur response to Louisiana's flooding crisis -- now in Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2025.




PAUL: We open this week's newscast with a special expanded report, an indepth look at what's being called the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since superstorm Sandy: Louisiana's floods. Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, has been following that story closely.

SKEETER'S REPORT: The National Weather Service is now calling it, “The One Thousand Year Rain.”

BOBBY: At this point, according to reports from Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, 30,000 people and 1,000 pets have already been rescued. Forty thousand people have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance and at least 11 people  have died in the floods thus far.

SKEETER: That’s Alabama meteorologist Bobby Best WX4ALA. Amateur Radio volunteers are springing into action in the wake of flooding of historic proportions that inundated parts of Louisiana and Mississippi the weekend of August 13th and 14th.

BOBBY: Louisiana ARES was requested to be activated by the Louisiana office of the American Red Cross. There are shelters set up across the region. There are at least, as of last word, 40 additional shelters that are needing communications to be connected. Everything is being run out of headquarters at the Red Cross office in Baton Rouge. That, according to Louisiana ARES assistant section emergency coordinator John Mark Robertson, K5JMR.

SKEETER: Louisiana ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Adam Tamplain KD5LEH tells Amateur Radio Newsline how many residents displaced by the flood waters are in the shelters.

ADAM: The latest number I had heard was between 12,000 and 13,000 in shelters. That may be off by 1,000 or 2,000. Flooding is still affecting some  newer areas as conditions change with some of the backwaters coming down in the river basin.

SKEETER: Tamplain outlines the initial response by ham operators in the Bayou State, and surrounding region…

ADAM: We activated the Louisiana section late Sunday evening and unfortunately the response has not been nearly what we were hoping for. Right now we actively have around 15 or so hams at various shelters. Some are affiliated with ARES, some are not, and they are handling tactical communication beween the shelters and the Red Cross headquarters in Baton Rouge. Mississippi called and offered their support to us. We also had Alabama call and offer their support to us, and we are coordinating with those sections to see if we can get some help from them or not.

SKEETER: And what is the current state of communications in the affected areas?

[Adam Tamplain cut 02  Q: “…those issues are improving.”]

SKEETER: Tamplain says in addition to localized repeater and simplex frequencies in Louisiana, 2 HF frequencies may be utilized for urgent amateur radio traffic related to this disaster.

[Adam Tamplain cut 05  Q: “…regional offices for the Red Cross.”]

SKEETER: Bobby Best says, even though the storms have moved out of the area, the effects have been far-reaching, and residents who have lost their homes need to be prepared for a long road ahead.

[Bobby Best cut 03  Q: “…could have to be deployed long-term.”]

SKEETER: Hams outside of Louisiana are being asked to not self-deploy. Those who would like to make their availability known should coordinate through the Louisiana ARES headquarters by contacting Steve Irvin WA5FKF at area code 225-933-4993.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Skeeter Nash N5ASH, reporting from Topeka, Kansas.

PAUL/ANCHOR: Amateur Radio Newsline will continue to follow the radio response to this crisis.



PAUL: Having trouble hearing that other station? Sometimes it's the signal but sometimes it's also the noise. The FCC, at long last, is moving ahead with a look at noise, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Damron, N8TMW.

JIM: When it comes to managing the electromagnetic spectrum, the FCC is hoping to hear the right kind of noise -- and plenty of it. The FCC's Technological Advisory Council plans a comprehensive study of the noise floor and until earlier this month, had been receiving input on how to conduct the study - and what to look for along the way. Hams and other interested parties were invited to comment on where the problem exists, what devices make it worse, what bands are most affected and how natural propagation effects can be accounted for when undertaking such a study. The agency was also looking for suggestions on the study's methodology, and ways to take meaningful measurements

When the study was announced earlier this year, the ARRL responded to the news by calling it encouraging, adding that the league hopes the findings will provide guidelines for decisions on band allocations, enforcement and other spectrum-management matters.

The amateur radio community has been anticipating such a study since the FCC first requested one in 1999. The comment period closed August 11 and the amateur community now awaits the agency's next move.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Damron, N8TMW.




PAUL/ANCHOR: The global radio community just welcomed two relative newcomers. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot, G4NJH.

JEREMY: The European Radio Amateurs' Organization has added two organizations to its roster that are also fairly new to the world of amateur radio. They are the Ukrainian Amateur Radio League and the Romanian radio club known as Clubul Sportiv Cafe Gratis. The Romanian club was founded in 2015 and the Ukrainian group was created just this year as an effort by 13 regional clubs. According to the EURAO website, about 1,500 members belong to this radio league in the Ukraine.

The European organization itself comprises independent radio amateurs' associations globally for collaboration on projects, sharing activities and when necessary, lobbying public officials on common interests.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot, G4NJH




Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including W5AW, the Big Springs Amateur Radio Club Repeater in Big Springs, Texas, on Thursdays at 8 p.m.



PAUL: It's been a long time since Radio Caroline's offshore broadcasts were heard in the UK. But special event station GB5RC recently brought back the memory, it not the actual sound. Here's Amateur Radio *Newsline's Ed Durrant, DD5LP.

ED'S REPORT: In the radio operators' own words, it wasn't the Radio Caroline of old, but hams devoted to the spirit of offshore broadcasting in the UK still had an authentic thrill participating in the GB5RC special event on Friday the 5th of August through Monday the 8th of August. Amateur radio organizers reported about 2,500 QSOs with 80 countries, all successfully breaking through what were, at times, some massive waves of calls.

The ship was a busy place as described by Keith G6NHU, writing on the Martello Tower Group's website. He wrote QUOTE: "We heard many tales of how people used to listen to Caroline back in the 60s and 70s and we also spoke to a lot of people who had worked on the Ross Revenge, both in her offshore radio days and also in her days as a trawler." ENDQUOTE

Keith added: QUOTE "It was a great feeling for all of us to know that for the first time in many years, a lot of RF was being transmitted from the ship." According to the blog, amateur radio stations have worked on board the Ross Revenge before but not on this scale. Indeed, Keith proclaimed the event historic.

There was no 1960s rock and roll played, of course, but the station itself became the biggest hit of the weekend.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Ed Durrant, DD5LP.




PAUL: At a recent celebration in Australia marking National Science Week, amateur radio not surprisingly took center stage. Here's more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp, VK4BB.

GRAHAM: What's the Bright Idea? Well, in Tasmania, organizers like to think it's the Festival of Bright Ideas, part of the annual National Science Week. Not surprisingly, amateur radio played a big role in this celebration of all things scientific and the Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania enjoyed particularly active traffic at its stand at the festival, with student groups stopping by throughout the day on Friday, August 14th. According to Justin, VK7TW, writing on the group's Facebook page, the youngsters took a crack at Morse Code decoders, tried out an SDR receiver, had hands-on experience with microwave transceivers and got some information on school amateur radio clubs that they could take back to their classrooms.

Last year, the first such festival attracted more than 5,000 visitors in search of creativity and a little bit of science magic on subjects ranging from space exploration to chemistry. The event serves as a showcase for the nation's science sector in general and the spirit of innovation that drives it - even beyond that brightest of ideas, amateur radio.

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




PAUL: There's nothing like a full day's immersion in amateur radio to help create the next generation of hams. Students in India recently got to sample the full range of the amateur experience. We hear again from Graham Kemp, VK4BB.

GRAHAM'S REPORT: Some 250 engineering students in the Indian state of Gujarat ended the month of July with a practical lesson in radio science like no other: It was a one-day session at the prestigious Marwadi Education Foundation Rajkot, conducted by Rajesh Vagadia VU2EXP, a regional coordinator in the West India Zone for AMSAT-India and a life member of the Radio Society of India.

Beyond the day's introductory sessions, the students got a full day's experience, which also included a look at SatCom, live demonstrations of SSTV and Morse code, SDR and various events that round out the varied ham radio experience on July 30

Rajesh's wife, Kiran, a short-wave listener, assisted him, as did several other amateurs, including Shailesh Nadiapara VU3HNT.

A member of a noted ham radio family in Gujarat, Rajesh is a radio educator and lifelong ham who put his best efforts that day into helping inspire a few more.

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




In the world of DX, it's worth noting that the website for the planned Bouvet 3Y0Z DXpedition has gone live. Even though the activation in this second most-wanted DXCC entity won't set out until early 2018, you can learn more about the team members and their detailed plans for three weeks on what they are calling QUOTE "the most remote island on Earth." ENDQUOTE The island was last activated as 3Y0E during the winter of 2007 to 2008. Visit

In Brazil, special event station ZY157CAT will be on the air until the end of August to celebrate the founding of the city of Catalao 157 years ago.  Listen for the station on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes.  Send QSLs directly to PP2BO.

The CY9C St. Paul Island DXpedition is under way, as of August 19th, and will continue through August 29th. Log data will be posted live, using ClubLog and OQRS. They will be working the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY and will also work 6m, 2m EME and Satellite. Send QSL cards directly to WA4DAN. For more details, visit their website at




PAUL: And finally, in closing, we ask ALL of our listeners: Do you have a couple of stamps laying around from collecting all those QSL cards? A radio club in the Philadelphia area can put them to good use. Amateur Radio Newsline's Mark Abramowicz (pronouncer - A-Brom-o-vich) NT3V has the story....

MARK: The Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club is ramping up a drive to get hams across the country and around the world to contribute to the "Stamps for the Wounded" program supported by the Lions International Stamp Club.

Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, president of the Holmesburg club says it's easy...

BOB: "Canceled stamps are collected and then distributed to local V-A hospitals and other convalescent facilities where our wounded warriors can receive occupational therapy using the stamps either to put into albums or to make decorative items," Josuweit says. "It's a good way of passing their time."

Josuweit says somebody brought the program to the attention of the Holmesburg club a couple of years ago...

BOB: "Each year, the club participates in several special events," Josuweit says. "The most notable one is the 13 Colonies Special Event which is held over the Fourth of July. We get literally thousands of QSL cards coming in to the club and we're looking for what could we do with all these envelopes that we're essentially throwing out.

"And we learned about the 'Stamps for the Wounded' program. And that we've now been collecting the stamps from those cards and are collecting them and shippping them down to the program which is actually located in Viriginia."

MARK: Josuweit says if you'd like to help out, send an email to and someone from the club will respond with where to send the stamps.

If you're thinking maybe this is project your club might want to undertake, Josuweit says get in touch...

BOB: "Send it to us or if they want to start their own program, there are many special event stations around the country or QSL managers," Josuweit says. "Just drop us an email and we'll tell them where the actual address is and they can start their own little program."

MARK: Again, that email address is

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, in Philadelphia.


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; AMSAT India; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; DX Coffee; European Radio Amateurs Association; the Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; Martello Tower Group; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ; 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

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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