Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2043, December 23 2016

13:17 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments


Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2043 with a release date of Friday, December 23, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Hams regroup to revive Missouri's Amateur Radio Parity Act. A British rocker upgrades his license-- and Norway's going digital. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2043 comes your way right now.




JIM/ANCHOR: We lead this week's newscast with a story of perseverence: Hams in Missouri say they're anything but discouraged about the failure to pass the state's Amateur Radio Parity Act. We hear why from Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun, WD9GCO.

PAUL: We have covered the progress of two different Amateur Radio Parity Acts - the national version and the more localized version in Missouri. Both followed similar trajectories, both suffered the same fate. Both efforts were passed by the House of Representatives, both were summarily dismissed by a single Senator before they could be added to the calendar.

I spoke with Larry Scantlan, K-E-zero-K-Zed, the man spearheading the Missouri effort, about his strategy for regrouping and starting the process all over again.

LARRY: We're very active in that process right now. Our original sponsor of the bill who authored it with me, State Representative Bryan Spencer has pre-filed our second attempt and it is on the record of the House of Representatives of the State of Missouri, and it's named the House Bill 136.

The text of that bill is identical to the previous bill because, well, it had gone through the discussion hearing committee the first time and was amended and had actually passed through the House of Representatives without issue so we felt that there was no need to change or make issue with the content of the text of the bill and after the first of the year when the session begins they will be putting it on the calendar and it will be assigned to a committee for its first initial hearing.

PAUL: Scantlan went on to explain the change in strategy for working with the Senate this second time around:

LARRY: The first issue right up front is to find a Senator that will sponsor a companion bill that will be working through their side simultaneously rather than waiting until the House bill gets all the way through all of its parts and then try to get it into the Senate - we just ran out of time. I've already been calling on Senator Bob Onder here in the St. Louis region who was a proponent of the bill the first time, try to sit down with him to get him to sponsor a Senate version so that will be moving through the Senate at the same time that the House bill will be moving through the House.

We're hopeful then that we won't run out of time and the thing will be sitting in the Senate at the last minute.

PAUL: Other new strategies include dividing the state up into regions with section leaders to help with the workload and to facilitate better communications. Scantlan has created a Facebook page called "Missouri Amateur Radio Parity Act," as well as a website at triple-w dot M-A-R-P-A dot U-S. The key, he said, is to convince all Missouri hams, of which there are fifteen thousand, to get involved and contact their congress member, whether the bill affects them today or not because, as Scantlan said, you never know when life changes will land you under a restrictive H-O-A.

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



JIM/ANCHOR: Interested in SDR? One New Zealand ham wrote the book and he spoke with Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

NEIL: There’s a new book written by a New Zealander about Software Defined Radios available.  Andrew Barron, ZL3DW, has just released his second book that explains Software Defined Radios that is intended for Amateur Radio Operators, Short Wave Listeners, and anyone interested in radio as a hobby.  Andrew explains some of the things included in this 308 page book.

ANDREW: It tells you why you would want to buy a software defined radio, why they are in some ways better than a conventional radio, what makes them different, what makes them better, (and) how you test them because some of testing is different.

NEIL: So if you’re interested in how software defined radios work, or maybe you’re considering purchasing one, this book could have just the information you need.

ANDREW: It’s rounded out with a big section on just the basics.  We explore about 65 radios that I found online, most of them receivers of course, but some transceivers, because it’s a big baffling as to which generations these radios are; what the capabilities are, what sort of frequencies they can cover, whether they’re a transceiver or not, so just the basics specs on a whole pile of radios.

NEIL: Andrew notes another reason why he decided to write the book.

ANDREW: SDR is changing all the time.  It’s quite dynamic, and it’s coming a long way.  And we see the big three manufacturers starting to get on board.  And, I think that it will be the way of the future for these big three radio producers because it’s cheaper.

NEIL: The book is available on Amazon and is both in print or in Kindle form for most e-Readers. You can find the link to it on Amazon in the text version of this newscast.

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



JIM/ANCHOR: What's more exciting to a musician than landing a hit on the charts? Amateur Radio Newsline's Ed Durrant DD5LP, tells us.

ED's REPORT: Never mind the name of the latest hit or album from the Britpop group Blur. The bigger news, at least to radio amateurs, is just as chart-busting an event: The group's drummer, amateur radio's Dave Rowntree 2E0DVR, has upgraded his license to Advanced. Dave first became a  ham with his Foundation license in 2012. Working first as M6DRQ, he passed his Intermediate exam and more recently completed this latest test successfully to rock the bands as an Advanced licensee.

That's as big a deal - or maybe bigger? - than having another album on the charts. Just like the band has undergone some reinvention since its creation in 1988, so too has Dave become an amateur who is always evolving.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.




JIM/ANCHOR: Earlier this month, when radio operators assembled in Greenwich Connecticut and Ardrossan Scotland, they re-sent the original message that became the first confirmed amateur radio transmission across the Atlantic 95 years ago. While other radio operators have also re-enacted this transmission, for one amateur, who grew up in Greenwich not far from the monument marking 1BCG's historic transmission, participating this year as N1BCG -- his 3-year-old callsign reflecting the Connecticut operators' callsign -- was especially fulfilling.

CLARK: After after having a couple of sequentially assigned call signs for ham radio I thought wouldn't it be nice to get something that is more a tribute to the history of international communications which occurred right here in Greenwich? What are the chances since I happen to live here too? It was such a significant event from a historical standpoint. N1BCG was available.

JIM: That is the voice of Clark Burgard N1BCG of Greenwich Connecticut. Clark worked single sideband earlier this month in the latest re-staging of the contact with Scotland. The event was a partnership of the Radio Society of Great Britain, the ARRL and the Radio Club of America -- but the location from which he transmitted turned out to be his grade school alma mater, where he operated his first childhood radio station.

CLARK: It goes back to about 40 years ago and that is actually one of the reasons the Greenwich Country Day School was selected for this year's 1BCG anniversary because the school to me is rich in radio history -- whether they intended it or not. They were very helpful in getting us a location for this past December 11's anniversary event.

JIM: As Clark notes, it was the same school where he'd played with radio as a child, and where something else caught his eye.

CLARK: We were in the boys gym because there is a flagpole - I'd had my eye on that flagpole for 40 years. I thought that would be great to hang an antenna off that. I would be in a world of trouble if I actually did that as a student. I had to let some time go by. I think I've been pretty patient."

JIM: That was Clark Burgard N1BCG of Greenwich Connecticut, who finally got to hang three dipoles on that childhood flagpole and helped radio relive a milestone in shortwave history while celebrating some of his own radio history too. He spoke with Amateur Radio Newsline's Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT.



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including W5AW, the Big Springs Amateur Radio Club Repeater in Big Springs, Texas, on Thursdays at 8 p.m.



JIM/ANCHOR: In Norway, it's goodbye analogue, hello digital. That could apply to a lot of things but in Norway, it will soon apply to radio, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jason Daniels VK2LAW.

JASON'S REPORT: Beginning in January, it's the end of radio as most listeners know it in Norway. Region by region, the nation's FM networks will gradually be switched off, starting in Nordland on the 11th of January.

With this action, Norway becomes the first nation to adopt full digital radio. The expected result of this switch to the Digital Audio Broadcasting, or DAB standard is a greater variety in listening content and the availability of more major channels.

This comes as no surprise to Norwegian listeners, who learned in 2015 that the The Ministry of Culture was planning the national shutdown of analogue. At the time of the minister's announcement, officials were pleased to report that instead of having five channels transmitting on FM nationwide, DAB would create new options including up to 22 station channels. Norway already has some DAB networks, and according to a survey two years ago by the TNS Gallup group, more than half of Norwegian households already owned one digital radio at that time.

The counties of Troms and Finnmark will be the last regions to switch over, and that change will come in December 2017.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, this is Jason Daniels VK2LAW




JIM/ANCHOR: Applicants for amateur licenses in the UK now have another option for taking that all-important test. We learn more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: Think of it as a radio check for a new licensing exam system in the UK: Beginning in February, the Radio Society of Great Britain will launch a pilot program to offer Advanced license examinations online at some testing locales. This phase of the program will continue through the middle of March.

A statement on the radio society's website said that the decision was made to go forward with the online pilot after a successful "proof of concept" exercise took place over a period of weeks earlier this year. That exercise had the participation of a number of clubs and individual amateurs.

The radio society said the online exam will offer the same kind of feedback now available to those taking exams at the Foundation and Intermediate levels.

A paper version of the exam will continue to be made available at those testing locales that lack Internet access. The Examinations Department will confirm the scores about 10 days after the exams are given, as has been the practice at all levels.

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




JIM/ANCHOR: The 44th running of the Honolulu Marathon this month had the power of radio to keep them on the move. The Honolulu Marathon on December 11th wasn't just a feat of endurance for the more than 30,000 runners. The hams who provided communications and safety for the race's 44th running also went the distance in their own way. According to the ARRL Pacific Section, radio operators went on the air as early as 4 a.m. and some stayed on the air for as many as 18 hours for this, the fourth largest marathon in the U.S.

With Net Control operated by Ralph Toyama NH6PY, 35 hams operated on both 2 meters and 70 centimeters. Some were also on the air using 800 MHz digital radios - nonamateur radios but nonetheless crucial in providing those links to aid stations, medical teams, transportation vehicles and police.

Hams were also at the finish line, feeling just as victorious as if they'd run the race themselves which, in a way, they did.




JIM/ANCHOR: The travels of Santa Claus have got nothing on one balloon that was built by students in Bristol in the UK and launched on December 11th carrying a 434 MHz beacon and APRS. A report came seven days later that it  had crossed the Pacific Ocean and made it to Canada; shortly thereafter, it was over Alaska.

Built from 50-micron thick film and about 1.9 meters in diameter, the UBSEDS21 balloon is carrying a payload with a weight of 34.2 grams. Following its launch, it reached a stable altitude of 15.2 kilometers and was heading east.

The balloon may not have had a change of course but it did have a change of plans. The students' original goal was to use it to contact the International Space Station on 145.825 MHz via APRS. The space station's VHF radio is not functioning, however, so the balloon will instead test its amplifier and communicate with any satellites that have APRS.

The students involved attend the University of Bristol and are part of UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Society.




Sila AK0SK will be on SSB from Kenya until January 6th, working as 5Z4/AK0SK. Listen on 80m through 10m. QSL to the home call.

Listen for Jeff K5WE from the Cayman Islands through December 30th. He is using the call sign ZF2WE and working CW and some RTTY on all the HF bands. He will upload his logs to Logbook of The World. Send QSLs via the home call.

Harry JG7PSJ returns to the Ogasawara Islands where you can hear him through January 1st. Listen for the call sign JD1BMH. Please note that Ogasawara counts as a separate entity for DXCC. Its reference number is AS-031 for the Islands on the Air Award.

And there's some encouraging news for DXers: The German communications authority issued a notice on their website on December 19th giving German class A Amateur radio enthusiasts access to the 5.3MHz (60 metre) band as per the WRC15 (15KHz wide) frequency range and (15w EIRP) power limitations on a non-interference  Enjoy adding some new contacts there to your log!



JIM/ANCHOR: It's now time for Amateur Radio Newsline to celebrate the holiday with a little gift to our listeners, and we preface this gift with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore. The author of the classic "Night Before Christmas" wasn't a ham - and the author of the poem you're about to hear probably is - or was at one time. Either way, we hope you enjoy it and give it a good signal report.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shack
The rig was turned off and the mic cord lay slack

The antenna rotor had made its last turn, the tubes in the linear had long ceased to burn.

I sat there relaxing and took off my specs, preparing to daydream of Armchair DX
When suddenly outside I heard such a sound, I dashed out the door to see what was around.

The moon shone down brightly and lighted the night. For sure propagation for the low bands was right.

I peered toward the roof where I heard all the racket and there was some guy in a red, fur-trimmed jacket!

I stood there perplexed in a manner quite giddy: Just who WAS this stranger? di di dah dah di dit?

He looked very much like an FCC guy who'd come to check up on some bad TVI.

I shouted to him: "OM! QRZ?"
"Hey you by the chimney all dressed up in red!"

I suddenly knew when I heard sleigh bells jingle
The guy on the rooftop was Jolly Kris Kringle

He had a big sack full of amateur gear which was a big load for his prancing reindeer.
Transmitters, receivers, for cabinets and racks
Some meters and scopes and a lot of co-ax.

He said not a word 'cause he'd finished his work.
He picked up his sack and he turned with a jerk.
As he leaped to his sleigh, he shouted with glee
And I knew in a moment he'd be QRT.

I heard him transmit as he flew o'er the trees
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all seven-three."


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to ABC News; Alan Labs; AMSAT-UK; the ARRL and ARRL Pacific Section; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; IEEE Spectrum; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin;; Radio Society of Great Britain; 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 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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