Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2026, August 26, 2016

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The following is a closed circuit advisory and not for broadcast. Please note that this edition of Amateur Radio Newsline #2026 is an extended report containing three segments and two breaks. Now, here is this week's anchor, Stephen Kinford, N8WB.


Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2026 with a release date of Friday, August 26,2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  Hams respond once more to raging fires in California. Three companies plead guilty in a global investigation into electronics price-fixing. We also hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Young Ham of the Year in a special report from the Huntsville Hamfest. All of this coming your way in Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2026.





STEPHEN/ANCHOR: This week's newscast begins with breaking news. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks, AE5DW.

DON'S REPORT: As Amateur Radio Newsline went to production, an earthquake of 6.2 magnitude struck central Italy early Wednesday, August 24. Initial reports indicate there were more than 120 fatalities. As emergency personnel continued to search for survivors, Italian amateurs began conducting emergency operations on the bands. Hams throughout the region were instructed to keep 7060 KHz, plus or minus 10 KHz, and 3643.5 KHz, clear. Offers of assistance have arrived from France, Israel, Germany and other nations. Details were still developing, and Amateur Radio Newsline will continue to follow this story. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW.



STEPHEN KINFORD/ANCHOR: We look now at amateur radio's response in another crisis, the California fires. In San Bernadino County's fire district, a ham group has been supplying support for two major wildfires in just the past two weeks. As of Tuesday August twenty third, the Blue Cut Fire has scorched nearly 58 square miles and closed off some key transportation highways as well.

Amateur Radio Newsline's Kent Peterson, KC0DGY spoke with Keith Morris KC6ZGG.

KENT: Keith is the Chief Radio Officer for the San Bernardino County Fire Office of Emergency Services

KEITH: San Bernadino county is the largest county in the united states Larger than a couple of states.   We do know that the last count was 105 single family homes were destroyed. This is our second major call out this season staffing is a challenge we're not a huge group considering the size of the area and with the pass being closed for a few days, we had to rely on whoever was already in place.

KENT: Unfortunately weather conditions have again been good for new fire development

KEITH: We have some monsoon flow bringing us thunder storms unfortunately , not very wet but dry lightning and that starts another fire.

KENT: The amateur radio volunteers work across the valleys, the mountains and the desert areas all interconnected using the linked repeaters of the Southern California Radio Network.

KEITH: a lot of our volunteers work as well they're not all retired folk they are not independently wealthy They're regular working people who had the calling to come and volunteer their time what they have available to us. We managed to staff every shift we needed

KENT: Morris describes one key role the local amateur radio group fills

KEITH: We are the technical and logistical support group for the fire department command post.  When those get deployed we have the technical team who are on the ready to support any of their needs in the field. We relieve all the standard modes of communications whether it the telephones or the fire department radios.  We relieve the routine traffic and leave Fire Brigade Staff for the more critical stuff.

KENT: He explains some of the responsibilities of their fire department

KEITH: They're an all needs fire department. They do everything from fires to rescues. Our goal is to support them with anything they need.

KENT: Morris says the fire department appreciates the assistance from the amateur radio community.

KEITH: They're very appreciative. We make sure they're taken care of all of us live in this area so we've got an interest in giving them the support that they need.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY

STEPHEN: It's worth noting that While the fire activity on the Blue Cut Fire may be winding down, restoration of the infrastructure is just beginning, especially in the region's critical Cajon Pass. Workers from Southern California Edison, Caltrans District 8, BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad and other companies will be tending to damaged power poles, train infrastructure, guard rails and related items in the area. The Cajon Pass has miles of train track, high tension power lines and the Interstate 15 which is a major thoroughfare to the High Desert, Las Vegas and beyond.


STEPHEN: There are new developments in the ongoing U.S. federal probe into electronics price-fixing. Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun WD9GCO has the details.

PAUL'S REPORT: In an ongoing U.S. Justice Department investigation, three more electronics companies have agreed to plead guilty in an international price-fixing conspiracy affecting the price of electrolytic capacitors worldwide. The agreement by Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co. Ltd. and Holy Stone Holdings Co., Ltd., brings to five the total of companies pleading guilty in the probe. Guilty pleas were previously entered by NEC TOKIN Corp. and Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd.

One individual, Takuro Isawa, a former global sales manager for one of the manufacturers of the capacitors, was indicted last year as well for alleged participation in the conspiracy.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder, of the justice department's Antitrust Division, said millions of American consumers were impacted by the price-fixing. In addition to their importance in amateur radio, the capacitors are also found in such consumer electronics as auto airbags and engines, computers, televisions, office equipment and home appliances.

Each of the three companies has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the ongoing probe. The two previous companies have already been sentenced to pay. NEC TOKIN was fined $13.8 million and Hitachi Chemical was fined $3.8 million.

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




STEPHEN: Why does the ionosphere behave as it does? At a newly reopened research facility once owned by the U.S. military, university researchers about to ask that same question. Here's more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Damron, N8TMW.

JIM's REPORT: High frequency radio researchers in Alaska are about to embark on a behavioral study of the most powerful kind, but their work has nothing to do with the habits or psychology of amateur radio operators.

The scientists will be looking at the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, utilizing what is believed to be the world's most capable high-power HF transmitter. All this work is to be done at the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, facility when it reopens in 2017.

The FCC has granted HAARP a pair of experimental service licenses to conduct the research at the facility, which is now owned by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, which acquired it from the U.S. Air Force.

HAARP's research involves beaming radio waves straight up for hundreds of miles, sometimes with such power that the effects create an artificial aurora. Much of the research has applications in satellite communications and navigation.

UAF researcher Chris Fallen KL3WX told the ARRL that early next year the research will begin. License WI2XFX will cover testing beetween 2.65 MHz and 8.1MHz, and license WI2XDV will cover the part of the spectrum between 1 and 40 MHz.

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




Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including WD9HSY, the Tri-Town Radio Amateur Club repeater in Hazel Crest, Illinois, on Wednesdays.



STEPHEN: If you're a leading manufacturer of amateur radio equipment, there's no better place to release the news of long-awaited new products than at the Tokyo Ham Fair, which recently concluded. Amateur Radio Newsline's Mike Askins KE5CXP tells us what radio giant Icom had in store there.

MIKE: Attendees at the Japan Amateur Radio League's Tokyo Ham Fair on Aug. 20th and 21st got quite an eyeful from Icom Inc. The manufacturer at long last trotted out the very samples it had been hinting at for the past few weeks in its online campaign. Visitors got their first glimpses of a few new products: Icom's IC-7610 will replace the IC-7600 as a 100-watt base station with built-in antenna tuner and capability for HF and 50MHz. Icom also rolled out the IC-R8600 wideband receiver to replace its IC-R8500. This receiver will operate in analog and digital modes and have a frequency range from 0.01-3000MHz. Among handhelds, Icom is introducing the IC-R30, an analog and digital model which succeeds the IC-R20 and can decode D-STAR, P25, NXDN and dPMR digital modes.

A special edition handheld model was also introduced: the ID-51 PLUS2, which permits D-STAR calls through the Internet, even in areas without access to D-STAR repeaters.

Though Icom revealed the samples, the company did not unveil details on prices or the products' launch dates.

With more than 36,000 participants at the ham fair, you can be sure there were a lot of eyes on Icom this year.

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




STEPHEN: Bright young student engineers deserve to be encouraged, and the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust has done just that, with scholarships. Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp WB9VPG, has the details.

NEIL's REPORT: Two young radio amateurs are among the four winners of this year's scholarships from the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust, part of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Winners of the $1,500 scholarships include Clifford White W5CNW of Tyler Texas, who has held an Amateur Extra license since he was 14. He is presently studying electrical engineering at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. Clifford was awarded the John H. Battison Founder's Scholarship to further his studies.

The foundation's Youth Scholarship was awarded to Ruth Willet KM4LAO. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, student will be double-majoring in mechanical engineering and engineering physics at Kettering College in Michigan.

The other recipients are James Copeland, a student engineer at his college radio station at Kansas State University, where he is a junior studying broadcasting. James, who was given the Robert Greenberg Scholarship, is a collector of Collins and Heathkit radios. The winner of the Harold E. Ennes Scholarship is Michael Frushour of Brookeville, Illinois, a TV production student at Columbia College in Chicago.

These annual scholarships are given to qualifying students in broadcast engineering and technology.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.




STEPHEN: Amateur radio operators in Latvia just got some new space on the spectrum. We hear more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY's REPORT: Two new bands opened up for amateurs in Latvia on August the 9th: the 60 meter, 5 MHz allocation with 15w EIRP and the 630 meter band, between 472 and 479 KHz, with 1 watt EIRP.

The 60 meter band in particular opens up new operating space on the spectrum in an area that has already been available to amateurs in the United States, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. As with most new allocations of this band this is a continuous range of frequency and not channelised as many earlier allocations were.

Both bands are open for use by Latvia's top-level Category A licensees but unlike other countries the 60 metre band is restricted to modes with a maximum bandwidth of 800 Hz.

Sixty meters is also gaining traction in Australia, where the Wireless Institute of Australia's request for the allocation, made last April to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, has been graded as Priority 1 by the authority. The ACMA acknowledges amateurs' interest in gaining 60-meter access. The WIA's magazine, "Amateur Radio," is preparing to publish a situation paper on the subject when space becomes available.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH



STEPHEN: Radio operators have honored a Polish priest who died during World War II. Maximilian Maria Kolbe is considered the patron saint of ham radio. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee KB3TZD has more.

HEATHER's REPORT: Special Event Station K3M went on the air earlier this month with a mission: to celebrate the life and the sacrifice of Maximilian Maria Kolbe, the Franciscan Priest who became a martyr during World War II. The global radio event which featured stations in Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey and Virginia, drew thousands of participants from Poland, as well as Spain, Puerto Rico, the U.S. and Canada. The stations operated during the week of Aug. 14 to Aug. 20 to mark the 75 years since the priest's death at the hands of the Nazis on Aug. 14, 1941.

The role of radio holds special significance in honoring the priest, who was founder of a monastery in Poland that had been dedicated to communications and was the home operation for SP3RN, a short-wave radio station. When the monastery was shut by the Nazis in 1941, Maximilian Maria Kolbe was arrested and sent to Auschwitz where he died in a starvation bunker.

The priest was canonized in 1982 and is considered the patron saint of amateur radio operators.

The Saint Maximilian Kolbe Net, founded in 1997, operates every Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on 3814 KHz.

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




In the world of DX, listen for Bernie, ZS4TX, operating as 3B8TX from Mauritius between September 16 to September 19th, as part of a 6m EME DXpedition. His operation will favor NA/SA moonrise and ZL/VK mooonset. He will also have a beacon during the daytime, seeking possible Tropo openings towards Africa. He prefers QSL cards in LoTW but will accept those sent to his home callsign.

Tom KC0W will be operating CW from Vanuatu where he will sign YJ0COW until the 21st of September. Send QSL cards directly to his home call.

Two amateurs from Japan are operating from Pitcairn Island until the 3rd of September as VP6J. Listen for them on 160m to 10m operating CW, SSB and RTTY. They are Nob JF2MBF and Ken JA2FJP. Send QSL cards directly to JF2MBF. With the pair's departure on September 3, a German amateur, Uli DL2AH, arrives and will be there until the 25th of November.

And finally, listen for  Ralf, DK8FA, operating as D44TUJ from Boa Vista Island between September 15 and September 29th. He will be heard mostly on 20 meters using the Digital modes. Send QSL cards to his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau. Ralf does not accept eQSL or LoTW!




Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including W6DRA, the Desert Radio Association repeater in Cathedral Springs, California on Thursdays.


STEPHEN: Meet Skyler Fennell, KD0WHB, the promising young amateur from Colorado who is this year's Bill Pasternak Young Ham of the Year. In this expanded final segment of Amateur Radio Newsline, we hear this report from Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, who was at the Huntsville Hamfest helping honor Skyler for his achievement.


DON: "Good afternoon everyone.  My name is Don Wilbanks, I'm with Amateur Radio Newsline, my call is AE5DW and we come together here every year to recognize excellence in youth and amateur radio with the Young Ham Of The Year Award."

And what a great representative we have for 2016.  Skyler Fennell, KD0WHB from Littleton Colorado.  An exceptional, brilliant young man. 

SKYLER: "Thank you so much Don.  It's really nice to be here and a pleasure meeting you all.  I'd like to thank Carole Perry and Paul Veal, WB2MGP and N0AH for the nomination, and the STEM school for helping get that all done.  I'd really like to say thanks to all my Elmers and everyone who has really inspired me in the hobby to work on projects and learn about all the different things.  It's really nice to be here and thank so much."

DON: We shared the stage with some friends.  Our corporate sponsors.  First up, Rich Moseson, W2VU of CQ Communications.

RICH: "I say this every year, what an honor it has been for me in the past 20 years to be on the judging committee for the Young Ham of The Year award program.  We hear so much from people saying that there are no young hams getting into the hobby anymore and those that do are not really doing anything significant.  Well every year I have the privilege of meeting some young hams who are doing incredible things.  Skyler, you are joining a long line of incredible young hams.  If anybody questions what we're talking about, just look at this little box!  He's got a 900 MHz repeater that he's walking around with, and it's working, and it's linked!  It has Internet connectivity, and it's amazing!"

DON: Amazing indeed!  Next from Yaesu USA, Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV.

DENNIS: "What we've learned about these amazing young hams, like Skyler, is they're on the move!  They're all over the place!  Physically besides everything else going on in their life.  Hou many people here have a 900 MHz radio?  That's a problem, isn't it Skyler?  That's your job in the future, to change that as these people get more crowded on the other bands.  They need people like you to show us why we can do that.  congratulations on behalf of Yaesu and wish you many years.  I'm sure you're going to have a wonderful time as you go forward.  Thank you."

DON: Representing Heil Sound, Gordon West, WB6NOA.

GORDON: "Wow! Skyler, you outdid yourself!  All of us here are so appreciative of your hard work.  First, your Pass ribbon that gets you to the head of any line!  You just show them that ribbon and you're there! Let's give Skyler a big hand for a great job!"

DON: Next, Emmett Hohensee, W0QH of RadioWavz Antennas.

EMMETT: "Skyler, honestly I am impressed.  Just looking at the 900 MHz repeater that you've got walking around with the networking and all this neat stuff - I'm impressed! I'm encouraged!  And I'm hoping that with more examples of people such as yourself that you continue to achieve, that you continue to spark new initiatives and new ideas, and bridge the gap between the old and the new.  I really appreciate that.  I want you to continue to do what you're doing and don't stop!  Continue to move on."

DON: Impressive doesn't begin to cover it all.  I can't wait to meet next year's Young Ham Of The Year. And we will next August in Huntsville Alabama.  Thanks to CQ Communications, Yaesu USA, Heil Sound, RadioWavz and the Huntsville Hamfest. Till next year, I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW for the Amateur Radio Newsline.

STEPHEN: There's more! You can hear the ceremony honoring Skyler in its entirety by visiting our website,, where we have posted it for you to hear as a Newsline Extra this week.


STEPHEN: Our last story goes back a few years. More than a century, in fact. It's about telegraphy, royalty, the presidency and, of course, ham radio. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp, VK4BB.

GRAHAM: Imagine, for a moment, U.S. President James Buchanan and Great Britain's Queen Victoria exchanging QSL cards. Imagine too the 19th century world figures giving one another signal reports. It didn't quite happen that way but in August of 1858, the president and the queen communicated across the Atlantic, as Victoria sent the president an invitation to visit Buckingham Palace. Her message began: QUOTE "Come, let us talk together" - as clear an opening for a ragchew if ever we heard one.

It was the first transatlantic telegraph message between the two and the president received it at the summer White House in Pennsylvania.

To commemorate that telegraph's anniversary, hams from the Bedford County Amateur Radio Society in Pennsylvania, using the callsign N3B, sent an ARRL Radiogram on Aug. 16 to Queen Elizabeth II. It was delivered to GB3RS at the Radio Society of Great Britain's National Radio Centre Bletchley Park. The message was sent in CW on 20 meters by Lloyd Roach K3QNT and Bernie Frank W3DRW.

Band conditions weren't optimal but in the UK, Trevor Hughes, G4WKJ and Andy Roberts M0GYK, were still able to copy the good wishes and forward them on to Buckingham Palace where, despite poor signal reports that had challenged the amateurs, it was never the less well-received.

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



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; the Bedford County Amateur Radio Society; CQ Magazine; CNN; DXNews; DXCoffee; HAARP.NET; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Icom; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; the New York Times;; 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 Stephen Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth Ohio, saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

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

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