Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2036, November 4 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2036 with a release date of Friday, November 4 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. We bring you an update on the brave hams in India who are monitoring suspicious signals on the border. We pay tribute to three Silent Keys -- and if you're a fan of AM operation, you'll be glad for some news we have from Australia. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2036 comes your way right now.




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We begin with an update about some courageous amateurs who have apparently made some progress tracking a potential terror threat in India. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: India's Intelligence Bureau is now responding to reports from amateur radio operators who believe they have pinpointed the region from which suspicious radio transmissions have been intercepted. The hams spent several days conducting around-the-clock monitoring of the signals, which were sent at night along the border with Bangladesh.

Ambarish Nag Biswas, VU2JFA, secretary of the West Bengal Amateur Radio Club, has been listening on VHF with club members after authorities had expressed concerns that the transmissions might be linked to extremists or terror activity.

A report in the Indian Express notes that the coded transmissions, heard at night, appear to have been pinpointed as coming from the West Bengal region of Basirhat. Basirhat has been widely viewed as a nexus for terrorism.

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


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Two men in Georgia have been charged with plotting an attack on the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project in Alaska, a facility of great interest to the amateur community. Authorities released news of the arrests as Newsline went to production. An arsenal of weapons was also recovered that police believe were to be used in the planned attack. The plot was discovered during an investigation of reports that one of the suspects was engaged in selling drugs. Marmian Grimes, a representative of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, told the Alaska Dispatch that the research facility has faced threats before and was grateful Georgia authorities were alert. The authorities said the pair had told them they were acting on directions from God.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The amateur community has suffered three more losses. They are National Medal of Science winner, an expert in acoustics and ARRL president emeritus, Jim Haynie, W5JBP.

Jim had been in failing health when he died on November 1. He was the ARRL's 13th president and began his term in January of 2000. He served in that post for six years. His tenure was marked by strong advocacy for ham radio education and his promotion of radio science in the classroom led to the ARRL's Education & Technology Program. He was outspoken on Capitol Hill on such issues as spectrum protection and deed restrictions. Haynie, who was named Amateur of the Year at the 2007 Dayton Hamvention, was a force in mustering hams to assist after the 9/11 attacks and testified before Congress about radio response during Hurricane Katrina.

Jim Haynie was 73.

We hear now from Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun, WD9GCO about contester and DXer Paul Obert K8PO.

PAUL: Contesting is an activity that some hams just approach casually, and others very seriously. And for some, like Paul Obert, K8PO, it was an obsession. His antenna farm resembles an antenna research facility. Sadly, Obert became a Silent Key on October 21st.

I spoke with two hams who had known Paul and asked for their memories of the man. Larry Emery, K1UO, remembers the first time he heard him on the air:

LARRY: When I first heard Paul on the air, he was what I would call my “new competition” that I didn’t know about when he came to Maine. I kept wondering who he was, who this K8PO guy was who kept beating me out on the low bands because we enjoy 160 meters DXing and so forth.

And so, one day my wife and I took a drive up to Paul’s and his wife Jackie’s place up in Union and I saw all of these towers and stacks from 40 to 10 meters and a full-sized 160 meter vertical and I said, “Ah-Ha!” and that sort of answered that question!

And that was the first day I met him and we kinda hit it off and of course Paul would do anything for you. The last few years we’d meet sort of halfway in a little hole-in-the-wall diner and run over the past contest activities or just anything in general we were trying. One of the last things we were talking about was remoting because I was in an HOA.

PAUL: Scott Redd, K0DQ, fondly remembers his friend as a man of many talents:

SCOTT: Paul was, in my view, what I would call a triathlete in ham radio. He was an accomplished DXer on all bands, especially the low bands; he was a contester, which was my particular interest, and he did some great things there; and he was an incredible engineer.

He was a station designer – he had a good station, but it was engineered perfectly. He was of German descent, and it showed. Paul did all of those things in terms of his ham radio skills, and he was also a wonderful human being.

PAUL: If you’d like to see a few photos of Paul’s towers, go to his QRZ page. There you will also see some of his awards, including the W1AW Worked All States for the ARRL Centennial. Some of his other achievements included 359 confirmed countries, including 20 that are no longer on the list. He was one zone away from achieving Nine-Band-Worked-All-Zones.

Paul Obert will be missed by many around the world. But where he is now, the reception is static-free and the bands have no limits.

All of us at Amateur Radio Newsline offer our condolences to his family and friends.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Paul Braun, WD9GCO

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Neil Rapp WB9VPG tells us more about Internet pioneer and acoustics expert Leo Beranek.

NEIL: National Medal of Science winner Leo Beranek, a former amateur radio operator and the creator of ARPANET, the precursor to today's Internet - has become a Silent Key at the age of 102. A renowned acoustical scientist, he ran the electro-acoustics laboratory at Harvard University in the 1940s and the Navy Systems Research Laboratory at Beavertail Point, Rhode Island, for which he was given the Presidential Certificate of Merit from President Harry Truman for his work during World War II.

The Iowa native, who ultimately got a PhD from Harvard University, had worked with the young startup Collins Radio Company years earlier when he'd had to drop out of college. Many years later, in 1972, he helped found WCVB, the TV station in Boston. Leo had become a licensed radio amateur during his college years, although records now of his call sign are not available. He was given the National Medal of Science for Engineering in 2003 by President George W. Bush.

The Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control was created in 2010 by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the United States, to honor him.

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



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.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Amplitude modulation is alive and well, especially in Australia. We hear more from Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW.

JOHN: Single Sideband changed the shape of how we talk on the radio, putting amplitude modulation, or AM, on the sidelines because of its more sizable bandwidth. In Australia, however, there is a renewed focus on AM as a result of a newly released band plan. The guidlines apply to Australian amateur bands below 30 MHz. On 10 meters, AM is now recommended for 29.0 to 29.1 MHz. On 40 meters, crystal-controlled AM can be found around 7.125 MHz. The upper portion of 160 meters is also recommended for AM transmissions.

The band plans were updated recently by John Martin VK3KM, the technical advisory committee co-ordinator for the Wireless Institute of Australia.

By the way, if you're going the AM route, be sure to listen for WIA president Phil Wait VK2ASD, whose homebrew AM transmitter can be considered something of a frequent flyer on that designated spot on 40 meters. Not only is 7.125 used for crystal-controlled rigs but also VFO-rig AM operation.

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



STEPHEN: The spirit of a famous naval battle from the first World War lives on in a special event station in Australia. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Jason Daniels, VK2LAW.

JASON: The team members of VICTOR INDIA 4 SYDNEY EMDEN ACTION have their work cut out for them. They are commemorating November 9, 1914, a remarkable day for the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Sydney took on the German adversaries aboard the SMS Emden off the Cocos Keeling Islands. It was the first WW1 action seen by Australia's Navy.

One hundred and two years later, this special event station, which began its operation on the first of November, will conclude its international contacts on November 9, but not before the operators sweep the bands between 630 meters to 6 meters. It's no small detail that most of the operators are former navy or military personnel.

The station's QRZ page notes that the special event station does not attempt to glorify war but to commemorate everyone's bravery on both sides of the conflict.

With that in mind, the Australian radio operators ask hams to remember all the brave sailors involved - not only those from Australia but also those from Britain and Germany.

Indeed, the QSL card features side-by-side portraits of Australia's Capt. John Glossop and Germany's Capt. Karl von Muller, calling them both "The Last Gentlemen of War," no doubt a nod to the 1984 history book, "Gentlemen of War."

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




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: It's smart to be a ham.....but it can pay off especially well to be a smart young ham. We hear why from Amateur Radio Newsline's Geri Goodrich KF5KRN.

GERI'S REPORT: The ARRL Foundation is looking for a few bright students. Actually, the foundation is searching for a couple of dozen -- all of them hopeful recipients of more than 80 scholarships available from the foundation in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000. The scholarship application window opened on October 1 and students who are active radio amateurs have until January 31 to submit their online application along with a PDF of their transcript from their most recently completed academic year.

The scholarships support the students' post-secondary school education in the academic year 2017 to 2018.

Last year, 81 students were awarded funds for a total of $120,150 in scholarships which are funded entirely through contributions to the foundation by clubs, friends and amateurs themselves.

Read more about the scholarships, or find an application, by visiting

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Geri Goodrich, KF5KRN



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: There's good news for hams who are chasing Tom Callas, KC0W, the noted "Cows Over the world" DXer whose DXpeditions came to a halt after he was the victim of a theft. Tom has announced on his profile that he expects to start operating in early November through the 25th of the month from the Philippines using the call sign 4I7COW. So welcome back Tom - and to everyone else, go get him!



Elsewhere in the world of DX, John AD8J is working as AD8J/HR9 until November 12 from the island of Guanaja, Honduras, IOTA reference NA-057. Send QSL cards via his home call sign.

Roly ZL1BQD is working until November 25th as E51RR from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands. Listen for him 40, 20 and 15m. Send QSL cards to his home call.

Be listening  for the callsign XU7MDC until November 14th. That would be a team of radio operators from the Mediterraneo DX Club on the air from Cambodia. You can listen for them on all HF bands. The team's QSL manager is IK2VUC.




We close this week's newscast with this story of a classic comic strip with a surprise element: Morse Code. Now, Samuel Morse isn't exactly the kind of character you'd find in the pages of any comic strip, much less the classic strip, "The Phantom." The Phantom, an avenger with a sense of justice, was created in the 1930s, long after Samuel Morse devised his system of dots and dashes in the 19th Century. In the strip's earliest days, The Phantom was already using amateur radio to send important messages. It seems that in the intervening years, he hasn't forgotten ham radio's reliability -- nor has he forgotten his CW.

Now he is an older, wiser Phantom - and the father of two, including a son attending college at a remote Himalayan location. He is seen in the comic's current story thread keeping tabs on his son by communicating with one of his teachers via code. His wife, of course, asks her crime-fighting husband "isn't that obsolete?" The Phantom replies: "Not at all."

Right you are, Phantom. That's what makes you OUR hero too!



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; Boston Globe; Boston Business Journal; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Institute of Noise Control Engineering; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; 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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