Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2035, October 28, 2016

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AUDIO


Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2035 with a release date of Friday, October 28, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Hams call CQ on summits from Europe to Australia. A special event station works to feed hungry kids -- and a Halloween pumpkin patrol squashes mischief. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2035 comes your way right now.

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BILLBOARD CART

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THE WORLD GOES SUMMIT-TO SUMMIT

DON/ANCHOR: We open this week's newscast with a special report about a worldwide "super" activation - an organized two-hour Summit-to-Summit activity reaching from Europe to Australia and points between. Here's Newsline's Ed Durrant DD5LP, who was out there himself calling CQ.

ED: October 22nd saw the Summits On The Air, Australia to Europe Summit to Summit event. Fifty one summits across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan were registered by their activators as intending to take part in this 2 hour "super-activation."

When 0630 UTC arrived with weather varying from freezing cold to pouring with rain in Europe and not a lot better in Australia, the SOTA activators started their calls. Between 6:30 and 8:30 UTC seventy three summits were activated – twenty two more than expected.

Mother nature and propagation were "variable" to say the least but contacts were made between continents as well as within each of the regions.

At times the number of active summits made it difficult to find a free frequency on 20 metres to call CQ on.

Thanks to Gerard VK2IO for the following audio clip of my signal crackling through the "ether" from Southern Bavaria to New South Wales Australia. Unfortunately no contact was made due to QRM from QRO stations in Europe who often started up transmissions on top of the QRP SOTA stations.

< play shortened clip here >

The organizers Andrew VK1AD and Mike 2E0YYY declared the event a success and planning is under way for future Australia to Europe SOTA events, most likely twice a year around the dates that we change the clocks in Spring and Autumn.

A similar event is being discussed between European and North American activators. Once details are confirmed, you'll here about it here on ARNewsline. In the meantime checkout sota.org.uk to find out about Summits on the Air.

For AR Newsline this has been Ed Durrant DD5LP from Bavaria in Southern Germany. 

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SPECIAL EVENT STATION BOOSTS UNICEF

DON/ANCHOR: In another international event, radio operators in Poland have taken up the cause of starving children through a special event station that's trading QSOs for cash. Here's Newsline's John Williams, VK4JJW.

JOHN: The hunger and poverty so prevalent among youngsters in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is being felt now as well in the world's amateur radio community, which is raising consciousness as well as funds to help. Organized by Hams for Kids, a project of the Polish Amateur Radio Union, PZK, the project will donate 2 cents to UNICEF for every unique QSO with station SN4KIDS. Operating on the HF bands the station will continue to operate until the 13th of November.  The station can also be found on 6 meters.

Amateurs have been eagerly making contact and the organizers have been reporting on their Facebook page that the number of QSOs has been growing. As of the 15th of October, they reported more than 2,000 QSOs -- and it's far from over yet.

So be listening for SN4KIDS and know that your contact translates into something more than just sending QSL cards. Hams are also sending aid.

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

(POLISH AMATEUR RADIO UNION)

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A PLAN TO TAKE SPACE WEATHER BY STORM

DON/ANCHOR: Hams deal with space weather regularly -- but what about everyone else? Yes, there is a plan - or there will be one soon in the U.S. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Mike Askins KE5CXP.

MIKE: Federal agencies now have until April to devise a comprehensive plan to predict, detect and deal with solar flares and other so-called space weather disturbances that could mess with the nation's technology, everything from GPS systems to satellites to the power grid itself.

President Barack Obama's Oct. 13 Executive Order directed Homeland Security, NASA, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Interior among other offices, to find ways to be alert to such occurrences, including geomagnetic storms. Obama ordered the agencies to find ways to protect or quickly repair the infrastructure, consistent with the goal identified in the nation's 2015 National Space Weather Action Plan.

The order outlines the implementation of the plan as a coordinated effort among agencies.

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

(NBC NEWS, WHITEHOUSE.GOV)


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PUMPKIN PATROL HELPS SQUASH HALLOWEEN MISCHIEF

DON/ANCHOR: It's THAT season -- and as spooky as Halloween can get sometimes, hams in New York are partnering with State Troopers to make sure this late October holiday doesn't turn into a real horror show -- as we hear in this report from Newsline's Kent Peterson KC0DGY

AL: It's called Pumpkin Patrol because a lot of times there's a lot of mischief around the 30th and 31st of October. It started in 1976 when a young woman heard on her CB that someone had thrown a rock from a bridge that crosses the Thruway. They decided they were going to park near these bridges and if they saw something suspicious, they would call the authorities.

KENT: And so was born the New York Pumpkin Patrol. Al May WA2KFV coordinates the ham volunteers for his county. It grew from CBers -- and later Hams joined in to assist in the local police and the New York State patrol.

AL: It's become organized and now covers the entire state. They work with 32 local police agencies. Our group covers central NY near Syracuse covering 19 bridges. If we see something suspicious, we call net control and they call the authorities to have them investigate. I think that we're there that it prevents problems. For two or three years now we've not had any problems. I believe just our presence being there is a deterrent.

KENT: May says there are several hundred amateur operators who volunteer their time being an extra set of eyes on the Thruway bridges.

AL: The troopers took over organizing all the people. There are hundreds of bridges going over the New York State Thruway. It's a big job for them and we feel we are an important part in giving them a hand in this successful program.

KENT: For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY.

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BREAK HERE

Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association W1AEC repeater on 147 MHz in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on Sundays at 8 pm.

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SCOUTS RECAP BIG JAMBOREE WEEKEND

DON/ANCHOR: This week finds Scouts looking forward to more time on the air -- and looking back on a big radio weekend. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Stearns NE4RD.

BILL: This week in Radio Scouting we have one activation of the K2BSA callsign in NC and we hear stories from the Jamboree on the Air weekend.

Brian Alexander, W4BTA, will be the control operator for the portable 4 station at the Croatan Trails Fall Camporee at Camp Sam Hatcher in Newport, NC, the weekend of October 28th through the 30th. 

Tom Schuessler, N5HYP, reports their activation for JOTA at the National Scouting Museum was a great success. Their heavy social media campaign brought in over 300 visitors from all over the region, including one from 300 miles away.  They had HF Voice and Data, Echolink, IRLP, Satellite, a Foxhunt, and a Morse Code demonstration table.

Elliott Liggett, W6EL, spoke with me about his activation in California as K6A: 

ELLIOTT: My name is Elliott Liggett, my call is W6WL, and I helped plan and coordinate the Jamboree on the Air event this year for the Verdugo Hills Council. The goal of our events was to get as many Scouts on the radio talking to other Scouts as possible. One aspect that helped this event be successful is that my son who is now 9 years old, KM6BGR, he's licensed and he was able to give an example to the other Scouts that they could really relate to.  Another aspect that helped to be successful was we got the loaner equipment from Icom, the brand new IC-7300.That was as exciting for us adults as it was for the kids.  For attendance, we had 7 Boy Scouts, 28 Cub Scouts, 1 Girl Scout, and a fair number of visitors. There was a Red Cross event next door and a lot of them came over to see what Amateur Radio was all about.  We had an end-fed half-wave which works from 40m through 10, and we also had a dual band VHF/UHF antenna on the top. And we had the AllStar hub provided by Doug Crompton WA3DSP. It was very handy.We had over 60 stations connected at the same time, and it enabled a lot of interesting Scout-to-Scout contact that might not have been otherwise possible. So, in the early morning we talked to several Scouts in Australia about their favorite animals and activities. It was just very, very interesting to see those kinds of contacts taking place. It's always fun to get on Amateur Radio, but it's even more fun if we can do it, and show someone else what it's about.

BILL: I also spoke with Jim Wilson K5ND about the progress of station reports: 

JIM: Reports are coming in. Of course there was a flurry of reports immediately after the event. There's still time. November 1st is the deadline. The week of November 1st we'll do the drawing for Icom's ID-51 HT and 5 Icom Ham Crew T-shirts, so be sure to get your name into that drawing. We use these reports to compile results for the event. Let's get as many reports in as we can so we can tell an accurate story about what's going on for Jamboree on the Air for the USA. So get your report in. November 1st is the deadline.

BILL: For more information on K2BSA and Radio Scouting, visit www.k2bsa.net.

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

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TWO DAYS DEVOTED TO AM ACTIVITIES

DON/ANCHOR: Want to work Portugal? It gets even easier if you're on the HF bands on AM starting Nov. 5. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH tells us more.

JEREMY: It's being called the National Day of AM in Portugal and while it's not quite a national holiday, hams are looking to celebrate with a full weekend of amplitude modulation activities the first weekend in November. This is the sixth year it has been organized by the Portuguese Association of Radio Amateurs, the ARLA, and you don't have to be in Portugal to be part of the festivities. The ARLA is asking all amateurs and SWL around the world to get on the air on AM in the 80, 40, 20, 10, 6 and 2 meter bands between 0800 UTC on the 5th of November until 1159 UTC on the 6th. There are more chances to make good contacts this year because the event has been expanded to two days -- a full 48 hours on the air.

According to João Costa CT1FBF, although the two days are devoted to proving opportunities especially for new operators and encouraging hams with older equipment to get on the air, the effort is also a tribute to short-wave AM broadcasting in Portugal which no longer takes place.

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

(ARLA, SOUTHGATE)

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AMATEURS AID RECOVERY AFTER PHILIPPINES TYPHOON

DON/ANCHOR: The Philippines took a battering from recent typhoons but amateurs are there, even into the recovery process -- as we hear from Newsline's Jason Daniels VK2LAW.

JASON: In the northern Philippines, Super Typhoon Haima is believed to have ravaged 100 percent of the homes in Tuguegarao City, according to officials there. The deadly typhoon, which made landfall on Oct. 20, also affected farms, fishing and the region's infrastructure. Loss of life was estimated at 13. The Philippine Amateur Radio Association's HERO net was already active on 40 meters when the storm hit, since it had been put into operation for an earlier typhoon, Sharika, which had hit Luzon Island. That storm turned out to be much weaker.

As Haima raged, the HERO net's 130 stations kept everyone apprised of flooding, weather and power conditions.

Amateur radio continues to be active as the recovery effort gets under way, especially with lost power and intermittent phone service. As the Red Cross, army, police and others assist in the area, officials indicate that restoration of electricity could take as long as three weeks. In addition to amateur response in the hard-hit province of Cagayan, the province of Isabela was welcoming assistance from radio operators from the United Methodist Amateur Radio Club.

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


(IARU, THE WEATHER CHANNEL)

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THE WORLD OF DX

In the world of DX, Francois F6AJL is using the callsign TY5AA from the West African country of Benin until Nov. 30th. Listen for him on HF from 80 to 10 meters. Send QSL cards to his home call.

Chas NK8O is operating until November 12th in Tanzania as 5H3DX. He is operating on 80 through 15 meters, mainly using CW. For information about QSL cards, visit the QRZ page of 5H3DX.

Sigi DL7DF is on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla with 4 other German amateurs, working as VP2EGR until November 7th. Be listening on 160m to 10m, where they will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. Send QSL cards to DL7DF.

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KICKER: THIS MYSTERY WAS IN THE BAG

DON/ANCHOR: We close this week's report with this thought: As hams, we are proud to help our community, and even more proud to help fellow hams. What happens, though, when hams come to the aid of a totally different kind of ham? Newsline's Graham Kemp VK4B tells us.

GRAHAM: This story takes us to the Philippines, where Vladimir Sarmiento DW4VLS seemed on his way to becoming a hero after he'd stopped to aid a bicyclist in distress. The man had discovered a large closed garbage bag near the embankment of a creek and immediately feared the worst - that inside was the body of yet another victim of an extra-judicial killing. The stench was so bad he could barely stand it. When the cyclist flagged down Vladimir, the ham got on the radio to Alfredo Panti DU4AAP who, in turn, notified police. Authorities immediately dispatched an inspector to the site, proclaiming it a crime scene and roping it off. The long investigation began.

Four hours later, however, the investigation ended abruptly just as the municipal health officer, Dr. Elva Joson, arrived and opened the bag. Inside, the doctor found a body in the state of advanced decomposition.

The body was that of a pig.

With the story having morphed into a tale of barnyard justice gone wrong, authorities concluded this was less a case of homicide than simply....HAMicide.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB
   
(CATANDUANES TRIBUNE)

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NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; the Associated Press; Catanduanes Tribune; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; IARU, Irish Radio Transmitter Society; NBC NEWS; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Polish Amateur Radio Union; Portuguese Association of Radio Amateurs; QRZ; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; the Weather Channel; Whitehouse.Gov; 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 newsline@arnewsline.org. More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's only official website located at www.arnewsline.org.

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW in Picayune, Mississippi, saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening

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