Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2038, Friday, November 18, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2038 with a release date of Friday,  November 18, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.


The following is a QST. The DXing World loses a noted centenarian. A ham club in Michigan comes up with unique and generous way to welcome newly ticketed amateurs -- and in our top story from New Zealand, hams' attempts to assist after a massive earthquake are being challenged by the damage left behind. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2038 comes your way right now.





JIM/ANCHOR: We begin this week with the aftermath of the earthquake in New Zealand that took lives, stranded thousands, destroyed roads and buildings and left hams frustrated as to how they could help. We have more details from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF:

JIM MEACHEN'S REPORT: Thousands of people have been left stranded on a devastated landscape in New Zealand which was shattered by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Monday the 14th of November. With a state of emergency declared in the Canterbury region, hardest hit by the quake, emergency response has included an international array of naval vessels. Defense Minister Gerry Brownlee told the New Zealand Herald that offers of help were accepted from the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore. The fleet of rescue ships includes the first United States warship to visit New Zealand in 33 years.   

While there was no formal activation of Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (AREC), hams in the public service arm of the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters remained vigilant in monitoring traffic on the bands as officials continued to assess the massive damage to roads and buildings.

The quake, which caused extensive damage in Kaikoura and Culverden, killed at least two persons.

One local ham, Ken Duffy ZL4KD, told Amateur Radio Newsline in an email that he activated the local Christchurch repeater to listen for emergency and damage reports shortly after the first quake struck. He remained on the air through the series of aftershocks that occurred. Ken wrote that the affected area included a large rural region with few active hams, but the damage was significant.

Ken said AREC could not gain access to many of the affected areas because of the severity of the road damage. As Amateur Radio Newsline went to production, hams continued to monitor frequencies while they awaited word from government agencies on their offer to step in during the rescue effort.

Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.




JIM/ANCHOR: For disabled radio operators, this plenty of software to help them get on the air successfully. Still, there is no better encouragement than that of a fellow ham. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp VK4BB with news of just such an effort.

GRAHAM: December 3rd marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the International Programme for Handicapped radio Amateurs (IPHA), wants its member organizations to make their QSOs count. The event's coordinator, Riri OD5RI, said he would like to see some partnership with disabled operators. He reports that already the Derby & District Amateur Radio Society in the UK will be operating as G2DJ with disabled persons participating at the station. In Egypt, the Egyptian Radio Amateurs Society ERASD will likewise be operating the station SU0ERA.
If there are other organizations planning similar operations, please let the IPHA know about it by  contacting Riri via email at

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




JIM/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.




JIM/ANCHOR: The Veterans Day and Remembrance Day experiences help people around the world remember the brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their countries. One small group of amateurs in Ontario, Canada, made the most of that commemoration with a Special Event station at a special venue. Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW has those details.

JOHN's REPORT: In Canada, the John McCrae House, birthplace of the noted World War I soldier, is maintained as a treasured reminder not just of its former inhabitant but of the war that spurred him to write the poem, "In Flanders Fields." The verse was first published in 1915, immortalizing the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance Day, and serving as the author's tribute following a friend's death from injuries sustained in battle.

Members of the Guelph Amateur Radio Club in Ontario were part of that remembrance on Thursday, November 10 when their rig sent and received messages about fallen members of those in military service and about John McCrae himself, whose stirring verse is still a part of so many formal occasions in these modern times.

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




JIM/ANCHOR: In Europe, amateurs have enjoyed activing all kinds of mills, now unused for the original purposes in the textile and grain industries. Well, it looks like Australia's about to get into the act too. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jason Daniels VK2LAW tells us more:

JASON: Anderson's Mill, a 19th century building in central Victoria, has just earned the distinction of being the first mill in Australia to join a global radio event in May which, until now, featured only mills in Europe. The old Australian mill in Smeaton, which once processed flour and oats, will be processing global radio contacts instead in the annual event known as Mills on the Air. The radio activity is run by the Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society in the UK in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

Operators from the Central Goldfields Amateur Radio Group VK3BI plan to be on HF, VHF, IRLP and EchoLink from the mill on May 13 to 15. The radio club's president, Peter Rafferty VK3CC, had been working with local residents in the effort to get Anderson's Mill included. Now that the mill has been recognized in time for next year's event, the club is hoping this success will inspire others to find more mills in Australia to join them in the big event.

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




Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the WA7ABU Repeater serving Willamette Valley, Oregon



ANCHOR/JIM: DXers around the world lost a noted fellow DXer who was not just a longtime DXers but one of the world's most longtime hams. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH with the story of this Silent Key.

JEREMY: Ivan Pastre F3AT was considered one of the world's oldest radio amateurs and, at 102, that itself was quite an accomplishment. His achievements as a top DXer, however, were considered even more unparalleled by those who knew and respected him. The French radio amateur has become a Silent Key.

Ivan's name can be found at the top of the DXCC Honor Roll, with a total of 388 entities confirmed. He also held 5-Band DXCC honors. Licensed as F3AU in 1931, he was most active and proficient in CW throughout his long life and he was celebrated for his varied operations. He took the call sign F3AT some years after first getting his license but was also known to use variations of it for his activations in French Equatorial Africa, French Cameroon and French Sudan.

Listed on the roster of the A-1 Operators Club and the First Class CW Operators Club, Ivan was memorialized on the 12th of November.

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




JIM/ANCHOR: The amateur radio world also lost a noted leader active in the ARRL. Tod Olson, K0TO, is being remembered as an accomplished contester, mentor and a positive influence by many in and out of the headquarters of the ARRL. Tod became a Silent Key on November 12 at age 83, ending his long battle with cancer.

His work as an ARRL volunteer began in 1974 when he became Minnesota Section Communications Manager and at the time of his death he was best known as Director Emeritus and Honorary Vice President. He had held numerous positions in the years in between, including Dakota Division Director from 1994 to 1999. According to the ARRL website, he served on every standing committee the board had and served as chairman of the Administration Finance Committee -- twice.

His accomplishments on the air landed him in the CQ Contest Hall of Fame.

Tod had worked as Director of Information Technology at General Mills until his retirement in 1991. He and his wife, Jackie, had five children.

ARRL CEO David Sumner K1ZZ, who was well acquainted with Tod, said on the league website: QUOTE "I feel like I have lost my brother."

Plans are being made for a memorial service in Minnesota.



In the world of DX, Alan, G3XAQ is operating as 5X1XA on the HF bands using CW until the 28th of November from Kampala in Uganda. Send QSL cards via G3SWH."

Be listening for Tom, DJ6TF and Reiner, DL7KL as 5Z4/DJ6TF and 5Z4/DL7KL, respectively, from Diani Beach until December 1st. You can hear them on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. Send QSLs to their home callsigns.

John, W5JON is using the call sign V47JA from Calypso Bay, St. Kitts until the 15th of December. He can be found on single sideband on 160 to 10 meters, including 60 meters. Send QSLs direct to his home call sign.




JIM/ANCHOR: With the holiday season quickly upon us, our closing story is about an old friend in a red suit - a very old friend. You see, this particular Santa Claus doesn't have a sack. Instead he has.........a Net, and it's on 80 meters. If you believe in him, you'll want to listen very closely to this report from Kent Peterson KC0DGY.


PETE: We're now in our 11th year on 3916. This started when I had a 7- or 8-year-old at home. Somebody got the idea of what if we got the kids to talk to Santa. That was the humble beginning of Santa net.

KENT: And with that, the holiday spirit once again is crackling on the HF bands with the start of the 80-meter Santa Net every night at 7:30PM Central time. Pete Thomson KE5GGY thinks he could have up to 400 Santa contacts this year starting on November 25th right through and including Christmas Eve December 24.

PETE: I would encourage anybody to think about any kids in your neighborhood. Think about your own kids and grandkids, people you can introduce to ham radio. That's the other thing that happens here.  Not only do we make a kid's Christmas but we're getting kids connected to ham radio and that's pretty powerful. That is the magic of radio. Imagine what goes on in their minds when there's static and suddenly they are talking to Santa. We've been looking for female relays to help us relay in the voice of Mrs Claus. We've had a little bit of luck in the past but I'd like to see more this year.

KENT: Pete sent along this contact he made last year.

PETE: Robert are you on the frequency? ROBERT: "Yes I am. I've got my granddaughter Morgan on my lap." PETE: Are you excited Morgan?  MORGAN: Ya.  PETE: Well Morgan this is Pete and we're going to call Santa Claus. Calling Santa claus this is KE5GGY. SANTA: "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas everybody. Morgan are you on the radio?  MORGAN: Hi. SANTA: How are you doing, you're getting so big. Have you been a good girl this year?  MORGAN: Ya.  SANTA: That's what it says on my good girl list. You're at the top of my list.

KENT: So if you know someone who wants to talk to Santa, just dial up 3916 weeknights at 7:30PM central time starting November 25th. For Amateur Radio Newsline ho ho, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; the BBC; CQ Magazine; CNN; Daily DX; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; Ken Duffy ZL4KD; Les Nouvelles DX; Livingston County Amateur Radio; the New Zealand Herald; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; the Santa Net of the 3916 Tailgaiters and Freewheelers; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; Radio Society of Great Britain; Riri Azrak OD5RI; 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 Jim Damron N8TMW in Charleston, West Virginia saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

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

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