Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2037, Friday, November 11, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2037 with a release date of Friday, November 11 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.


The following is a QST. Lebanon awaits the licensing of its first new hams in years. Ham radio's the star in a film produced by a team from the U.S. and Cuba -- and our lead story: An important radio telescope in West Virginia faces shutdown. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline's Report #2037 comes your way right now.





PAUL/ANCHOR: Our top story this week brings word that the National Science Foundation has been asked to unload the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope. Here are the details from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Damron N8TMW.

JIM/ANCHOR: The largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world--along with its entire facility in the National Radio Quiet Zone at Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia has an uncertain future, including the possibility of being dismantled. The 100-meter radio telescope has been in operation since 2001, when it was built to replace a previous radio telescope that collapsed in 1988. It operates in a frequency range of 0.1 to 116 gigahertz. Radio telescopes study naturally-occurring radio light from stars, galaxies, black holes, and other astronomical objects.

The Green Bank Observatory has helped scientists worldwide in the study of celestial objects that give off radio waves—enabling researchers to learn more about the universe. It is open year-round with 40,000 visitors a year and has been in operation for over half a century.

Now the National Science Foundation, which funds the observatory, is being asked by the government to consider divesting itself of the facility. So it is considering several options: Continue National Science Foundation funding for science-focused operations. Continue to operate the facility by collaborating with funding from private and
public partners with reduced National Science Foundation funding. Collaborate with interested parties for operation of the site as a technology and education park. Mothball the facilities -- that is, suspending operations in a manner such that they could resume at some future date.  “Deconstruction” of the facility, followed by “site restoration."

Two public meetings were planned for Wednesday November 9 at the Green Bank Observatory for comment on the proposed changes. However, public comments can be sent by E mail until November 25, 2016 to  with a cc to   Subject should read “Green Bank Observatory”

You may Google “Proposed Changes for Green Bank Observatory” for complete details.

The Green Bank Observatory is an asset to the worldwide science community and it is hoped support will be shown for its continued uninterrupted operation.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Jim Damron N8TMW reporting from Charleston, West Virginia



ANCHOR/PAUL: Speaking of celestial things relevant to hams, let's consider this month's supermoon. I recently did -- and I was joined by an expert.

There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming so-called "supermoon" on the evening of November 14th. A "supermoon" is when the moon passes much closer to the Earth than is usual, and it appears to be much bigger. Some are questioning how this will affect moonbounce, or E-M-E amateur communications.

I spoke with Al Katz, K-2-U-Y-H, who is very active in moonbounce, about the upcoming event. Will it have any effect?

AL KATZ: It has virtually no effect. You can still bounce radio signals off the moon, even at HF. I know a Japanese EME'er who's got very nice echoes at 21 megahertz/15 meters so it can be done. The reason that people aren't as interested in it, of course, is that you can regularly work long distances all the time and the advantage of getting these weak signals off the moon - and they're still weak signals, even at 15 meters - even under bad conditions you're still better off using skip and propagation if your only interest is working an interesting place which is one of the exciting parts of amateur radio.

PAUL: Then according to Katz, it's interesting to watch, but otherwise it's business as usual?

AL KATZ: That is correct. It's beautiful, and you see a full moon, especially when it's near a horizon and it looks enormous and it even looks more enormous during a "supermoon" - I've viewed supermoons myself - but this is not the only one, they come along fairly regularly.

PAUL: So take a few moments on the evening of the 14th to walk outside and take a closer look at the Moon. And then go back inside and bounce some radio waves off of it. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun WD9GCO.



PAUL: Since a moon is often found surrounded by stars, amateurs will definitely be interested in one particular star - ham radio itself - in a new movie made by a U.S.-Cuban production team. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD.

HEATHER: Warmer relations between the U.S. and Cuba led to a Cuban-American team of contesters in the CQ World Wide SSB contest in October of 2015 -- and now it seems the nation's ever-growing friendship has led to a new movie.

"Sergio and Sergei," which is scheduled to be released in 2017, is the story of a cosmonaut stranded on the Mir Space Station because the collapsing Soviet Union cannot afford to bring him back to Earth. Not unexpectedly, ham radio is the star of the film because it saves the day. The cosmonaut uses the on-board radio and contacts a professor in Cuba for help. The professor, in turn, reaches out to a journalist in the U.S. who covers NASA.

The storyline isn't only an example of a U.S.-Cuba partnership -- the film itself is a collaborative effort between the two nations. Deadline Hollywood quotes producer Ron Perlman as saying this is the first Cuban-American co-production of a such a film in 60 years. The film echoes a 1999 movie, "Mir Friends," made in Ireland, based on the true story of Russian cosmonaut Serge´y Krikalov (krik-ka-lev) U-Zed-3-A-K-slant-U-5-M-I-R and his long-distance radio friendship with Irish amateur Manus Joe McClafferty E-I-7-E-Q. Manus McClafferty became a Silent Key earlier this year.

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




BILL: This week in radio scouting the USA JOTA Flash numbers are in for 2016!

Although radio counts and registered stations saw a drop this year, the USA put on 10,761 total Scouts, a 51% increase, 6,668 total visitors, a 30% increase, and 1,120 amateur radio operators, a 14% increase.  The registrations were marred a bit by the cumbersome registration process, which hopefully will be resolved for next year's running of JOTA.

Jim Wilson, K5ND, will be doing further analysis on the data and will be working on a finalized report for publication which should available within a month.  He also said "Thanks again to everyone who got on the air, shared the fun, technology, and magic of amateur radio with Scouts.'

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.



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the KB6OZX repeater in Riverside, California on Tuesdays.



PAUL/ANCHOR: For hams in Lebanon who took the nation's first license exam in more than a decade, it's all over but the waiting, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW.
JOHN's REPORT: For anxious amateurs and prospective amateurs in Lebanon, it seemed like forever until they could sit for an exam that would license or upgrade them. It had been more than a decade since the Lebanese Ministry of Communications had offered a test session for those seeking the nation's OD5 call sign. Now, having taken the test a little more than two weeks ago, the 50 or so hopeful applicants are waiting again - this time, for the results.

Hani Raad OD5TE, president of the Radio Amateurs of Lebanon, is credited with being the prime mover in getting the exam scheduled according to Ghassan Chammas AC2RA. Ghassan, formerly HJ6SQQ and HK6SQQ, was among those taking the test in Beirut.

He said in a recent email to Amateur Radio Newsline [QUOTE] "I hope to get an OD5 very soon." [ENDQUOTE]

Amateur Radio Newsline will be waiting with him for the results - and we look forward to working the new licensees.

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




PAUL/ANCHOR: It's time to put more summits on the air -- and the next "super activation" is coming, this time between North America and Europe. Amateur Radio Newsline's Ed Durrant DD5LP has the details.

ED's REPORT:  North American and European Summits on the Air “Super activation” November 19th -- After the success of the Australia-Europe Summit-to-Summit event in October, Gerald G4OIG suggested a similar event, this time between Europe and North America. The SOTA community has rallied behind him.

Both ends of the event will have to deal with wintery weather, but despite that, at the time of writing just under two weeks before the event twenty six stations located in Europe, North America and even one in Africa, have indicated on the website that they intend to participate. Many activators can only confirm the day before and others don't post alerts at all, so the final number of summits is likely to be even higher.

Instead of the early morning activations the Europeans had in the VK - EU event, this time it will be those in North America who will need to set the alarm clock. For Europe the 1400 – 1700 UTC time slot makes this a nice afternoon activation. In the US and Canada this equates to 0900 – 1200 on the East Coast and 0600-0900 local time on the West Coast.

The full details are as follows: Date: Saturday 19th, November 2016
Time: 1400 to 1700 UTC
Bands: any that are open
Modes: any that you can operate from a summit. As well as SSB and CW we have three activators who plan to use PSK31.

Most stations will be running low power. A few, however, plan to take 100-watt capable rigs onto the summit. Antennas in general are wire-based – both horizontal and vertical polarised.

The aim of the event is to get as many Summit to Summit - “S2S” - contacts as possible. The summit contacts can be between North America and Europe or within the regions themselves. Home-based “chasers” are also welcome to contact the summit activators but are being asked to defer to the S2S contacts.

So if you have portable equipment and you are in North America or Europe, why not take a look at the SOTA.ORG.UK website to find your nearest summit and the award scheme's rules and join in the fun on the 19th. of November. Even if you don't have portable equipment, you can still take part as a chaser from your home station. The more the merrier on the 19th.

There's even talk now of an Australia to North America Summit-to-Summit event, that would then complete the circle around the World by Summits on the Air!.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Ed Durrant DD5LP



PAUL/ANCHOR: What beats the thrill of getting your ham radio license? Getting your first radio - free! Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash N5ASH has those details.

SKEETER: The Livingston County Amateur Radio Klub in Michigan has come up with a unique way to generate interest in ham radio.

LES: We’re offering residents of the County that are 21 years or younger, that get their amateur radio license, it they pass the test, we’re giving them a dual-band handheld radio. And if you’re over 21 and you’re in the county, if you pay for 2 years’ membership to the club, we’ll also give you a radio, if you pass your test, or an upgrade.

SKEETER: That’s Les Butler W8MSP, Technical Director for the Livingston County Amateur Radio Klub, or LARK. I asked Les, who came up with the idea?

LES: The board members of the club. We were thinking of ideas to get more younger people involved, and more people in general. Our membership’s pretty good, and we’ve got pretty good participation in our meetings; we have a few young people, but we’d like to see a few more.

SKEETER: Has there been a noticeable difference since this program started earlier in the summer?

LES: Not yet; I think it’s going to now because it’s getting a lot more publicity. We did a local radio station interview here in the county. We generally have two to five people show up for our test sessions every month. We test the second Tuesday of every month. Walk-ins are welcome, you don’t need to make an appointment. And many months we have five, six or seven people. Generally, it’s two to five people.

SKEETER: So, if you know someone in Livingston County, Michigan, who is interested in getting or upgrading their license—and could use a free dual-band hand-held transceiver, go to W8LRK dot com to learn more about the club’s testing program. But hurry—this is a limited-time offer that expires at the end of 2016. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Skeeter Nash N5ASH, in Topeka, Kansas.




PAUL/ANCHOR: The sun is shining for one radio amateur in Bermuda who just received big honors for his work with the Hurricane Watch Net. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Bobby Best WX4ALA.

BOBBY: Thirty-one years of devoted and reliable reporting has paid off big for Antony "Tony" Siese VP9HK. Tony's decades of volunteer efforts with the Hurricane Watch Net have won him the title of Honorary Member of the Net and the distinction of being the first non-manager to be given that honor.

The Net's manager, Bobby Graves KB5HAV, announced late last month that the Bermuda resident had more than earned the title since the start of his involvement in 1985. Even with having taken one year off - last year - he has kept busy. Honorary membership is not the only distinction conferred on Tony. His reports on Hurricane Fabian in 2003 won him the Message-In-A-Bottle Award for that year's hurricane season after he reported critical ground-truth information about the storm's activity in Bermuda.

Tony has been a ham since the 1970s when he was licensed as G4CIL in the UK.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bobby Best WX4ALA




PAUL/ANCHOR: We have updated word on a monk who is one of the world's more popular DXers. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: The happy news is that Monk Apollo SV2ASP/A is back on Mount Athos following his recent hospitalization and major surgery. The unwelcome news is that if you think you worked him between the 16th and 18th of October, you're mistaken. His call sign was apparently pirated while the well-known DXer was undergoing medical treatment. A report from Kostas SV1DPI in the Daily DX notes that someone was on 20 meters CW  purporting to be Monk Apollo during that time period. There are also other reports that contacts with him on the 22nd and 23rd of October may also not be authentic. Most recent word from Mount Athos is that Monk Apollo may be ready for new QSOs soon so be on the bands and keep listening! The next time will likely be for real!




Elsewhere in the world of DX, Maurizio IK2GZU is on the air from Tanzania until the 2nd of December and in his spare time he is operating as 5H3MB. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World and QSLs should go via the home call.

Listen for 6V1IS from Dakar, Senegal and as 6V1IS/P from two different islands in the IOTA AF-045 group. A group of operators from Italy is on the air from those locations until the 20th of November. Their QSL Manager is IK7JWX.

Willi DJ7RJ is operating as 3B8/DJ7RJ from Mauritius until the 6th of December on all HF bands, from 160 to 10 meters. He asks that topband enthusiasts look for him on 1826.6 khz.




PAUL/ANCHOR: We close with a story that amateur radio operators of a certain age - actually, anyone of a certain age - might appreciate. It's about a beloved network anchorman who had been a noted ham too. For this, we turn to Amateur Radio Newsline's Mike Askins KE5CXP.

MIKE: THE Metro DX Club in suburban Chicago put legendary newsman Walter Cronkite KB2GSD back on the air recently, only it was the late journalist himself who was making amateur radio news this time. On the occasion of what would have been his 100th birthday, the club operated Special Event Station W9C between Monday, October 31st and Sunday November 6th.      

The CBS newsman, who became a Silent Key in July of 2009, was once known as the "most trusted man in America" and it was his voice and his expertise that the ARRL called upon in its 2003 video, "Amateur Radio Today," to acquaint non-hams with the hobby.

Metro DX Club president Jim Mornar N9TK told Amateur Radio Newsline that the National Parks on the Air centennial activity inspired him to look for other 100-year anniversaries. Walter Cronkite's birthday came up high on the list he found. He told us [QUOTE] "Since he was a ham and known to most of the ham demographic, I thought it would be a real winner. And so it has!" [ENDQUOTE] Thousands of QSOs had been tallied up by Saturday, November 5th. Jim called that day the highlight of the event as 15 or so club members worked from the super station of Jerry WB9Z and Val NV9L in Crescent City, Illinois, and had a potluck lunch that gave them strength to handle the pileups.

And THAT - as Walter Cronkite himself might say - is the way it is.

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



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; DX World; the Daily DX; Deadline Hollywood; Ghassan Chammas AC2RA; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Hurricane Watch Net; K2BSA; Metro DX Club of Suburban Chicago; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; the VOA Museum of Broadcasting; 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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