Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2057 for Friday, March 31, 2017

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AUDIO


Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2057 with a release date of Friday, March 31 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Amateur radio continues its advances in digital technology. In Italy, one amateur creates a detailed online map that locates repeaters -- and it's time for an exclusive report from our roving correspondent, Pierre Pullinmyleg, who's back to break some exclusive April Fool's Day news! All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2057 comes your way right now.

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BILLBOARD CART

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WHEN SOUND CARDS ARE A SOUND IDEA

JIM/ANCHOR: We open this week's newscast with two stories about digital advances which continue to transform amateur radio. We hear first from correspondent John Bartholomew KD9ECH. His report comes to Newsline courtesy of Amateur News Weekly.

JOHN BARTHOLOMEW: Amateur Radio operators have been on the cutting edge of technology since the beginning of the hobby. When the hams were sent above 200 meters in the early part of the 20th century, they proved that communications around the world was possible. They pioneered single sideband transmission and satellite communications. Now the computer is playing a vital role in emergency communications. Recently the Indiana Elmer Network, under the umbrella of the Laurel Amateur Radio Club, sponsored a workshop and demonstration of the various digital soundcard modes. Bob Burns W9BU was one of the presenters and says the technology uses the soundcard in a computer to send data over the airwaves. A short time ago this technology did not exist, but leave it to the hams to figure out how to develop it.

BOB: As more and more personal computers had soundcards in them, the hams that were technically astute started figuring out ways to interface these soundcards with their radios and use them to send and receive data. For the most part, these modes have been developed by amateur radio operators and it is part of the technical basis of amateur radio.

JOHN: Burns says that while this started out as purely experimental, there are other reasons to use it.

BOB: If you are in an auxiliary communications situation where you have to move a large amount of data, you want that data to be accurate. Also most of the sound card modes are fairly narrow in bandwith, narrower than a single sideband signal, and that way you can pack more signals into a given amount of spectrum.

JOHN: One scenario for using the digital modes would be a hospital receiving a large amount of patients and the facility is running low on supplies.

BOB: The hospital folks put together a list of things that they need, you can send that information using voice and take a lot of time and maybe have trouble getting things spelled correctly -- or you can use the soundcard digital modes to send it as a piece of data and then you don't have to worry about the spelling and everything gets through accurately and in a minimum amount of time.

JOHN: What new technologies will come forth in the coming years remains to be seen but you can bet if it involves communciations amateur radio operators will have a hand in it. Reporting for Amateur News Weekly, this is John Bartholomew KD9ECH.

JIM/ANCHOR: Our thanks to Amateur News Weekly for providing that report. For more of Amateur News Weekly, visit their website at amateurnewsweekly.com

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DIGITAL CROSSES THE FINISH LINE

JIM/ANCHOR: In this next report on digital radio modes, we hear about one amateur radio club in Ireland that took this new technology for a test run in County Galway and found it roadworthy. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH explains.

JEREMY'S REPORT: Runners in the annual Kinvara Rock and Road Half Marathon and 10K run in County Galway, Ireland, can always expect a stunning finish as the race winds up on the quay in Kinvara. In this year's contest, however, another group celebrated a fine finish of their own: Hams in the Galway VHF Group were providing radio assistance to runners along the seaside route and these hams ended up feeling like winners too: This was the club's first time making use of C4FM technology -- and the effort was deemed a success. It may have been the club's first all-digital operation for an Amateur Radio Emergency Network-supported event but it won't be their last. According to the club, it has been decided that similar operations in the future will feature DMR radios or radios equipped with Yaesu Fusion.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH

(KINVARA ROCK AND ROAD MARATHON, GALWAY VHF GROUP, IRTS)

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103-YEAR-OLD HAM IN RUSSIA, A SILENT KEY

JIM/ANCHOR: In his lifetime, Victor Sokkolov U5FS of Izmail, Russia, had seen World War I, the Russian Revolution and World War II, in which he served in the military. Victor, who became a Silent Key on March 25 at the age of 103, was believed to be among the oldest amateurs in Russia, if not the world.

A less active ham in his later years, Victor was proud of his military service and would often tell of the action he was involved in, including the Russian landing on the Kerch Strait which aimed to recapture Crimea from Germany.

His death was reported in the Daily DX.

(SOUTHGATE, DAILY DX)

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PUTTING ITALY'S REPEATERS ON THE MAP

JIM/ANCHOR: Anyone who has ever searched for a repeater only to be frustrated should get to know a ham like Andrea (ON-DRAYA NOOT-ZI) Nuzzi IZ8WNH. Over the course of two to three months, he researched and created an interactive map of amateur radio repeaters throughout Italy, with downloadable data for programming transceiver memory. Andrea explains here how he accomplished it.

ANDREA: Greetings from IZ8WNH to all Amateur Radio Newsline followers. The map was conceived to easily visualize repeaters' data based on Ham radio operator's position. It's not obvious to find information when moving from a place to another so the map allows OM/YL to find easily what they are looking for. Italy's repeaters' data are unofficially distributed through IK2ANE Walter's spreadsheet, which means they are not either exhaustive or accurate. I am doing a huge effort to find new data and validate the existing ones by verifying more than 1850 records, one by one and asking the collaboration of local OM/YL. So far, 40% of records have been positively validated and there's still a lot to do.
The map offers additional tools like four combinable filters based on italian regions, counties, the type of repeater and the band. Filtered recordsets are automatically shown on the map and on demand in a table. Collected data are exported as pdf and csv files. There are two different csv formattings to help OM/YL in setting RTX memories with Chirp or dedicated Yaesu softwares.

The website works with some HTML and PHP, a lot of JavaScript and MySQL database. It took me about 2-3 months to write down the complete code, create a database, insert additional code to provide a fully responsive website and fix incompatibilities among IE- and FF-based browsers. Nevertheless, maintaining the website up and running as well as updating the database are never-ending processes!


JIM/ANCHOR: Thank you, Andrea. A link to his repeater map can be found at iz8wnh.it/en.html

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IARU GUIDE: NOTHING LOST IN TRANSLATION

JIM/ANCHOR: Another ham - this one in Romania - has taken a different kind of creative initiative. He has translated the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide into Romanian. The guide is an invaluable resource for amateurs wanting to set up a state-of-the-art National Emergency Network and provide training for operators. Hams in Romania now have additional help in doing this, thanks to the efforts of one amateur, Francisc Grunberg (Fran-Sick Groon-berg) YO4PX who has translated its 93 pages.

The guide is now available in HTML and PDF format on the website of the Romanian Federation of Radio Amateurs at radioamator.ro.

The IARU guide is the latest body of ham radio literature translated by Francisc, whose profession is that of a translator and writer.

(SOUTHGATE, QRZ)

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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 WA3PBD repeater of the Two Rivers Amateur Radio Club in McKeesport, Pennsylvania during the 8 pm. Monday Night Net.

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DON'T FORGET: YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR

JIM/ANCHOR: Just another reminder that April is here and the deadline approaches to nominate a young candidate for Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year Award. This is our commitment to honoring young talent. Is there someone who particularly impresses you? Nominations are open to amateurs 18 or younger who reside in the United States, its possessions or any Canadian province. Find application forms on our website at arnewsline.org under the "YHOTY" tab. The award will be presented on August 19th at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama.

Visit our website for details. Nominations close May 31 and that date is coming up fast!

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RADIO SCOUTING UPDATE

JIM/ANCHOR: Radio Scouts are starting this month with a bit of activity. We hear about 2 activations and some progress on merit badges from Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Stearns NE4RD.

BILL: This week in Radio Scouting we have 1 activation of the K2BSA callsign, 1 activation from Scout Camps on the Air, Radio Merit Badge numbers are in, and we're moving into 7 months out for Jamboree on the Air.

Laurence Galle, K9EYZ, will be the control operator for the K2BSA portable 5 station  at the Jamboree Shakedown Campout at Camp Tiak in Wiggins, MS, from April 7th to April 9th.  Troop 4125 will be preparing for this summer's great adventure at the National Jamboree.  Hopefully other councils having these shakedown campouts leading up to the event will consider activating amateur radio stations.

Hatchie Crew 32, KB5WAX, will be activating K5BSA at the Venturing Rendezvous for Southern Region Area 2 at Camp Wisdom in Dallas, TX, from March 31st to April 2nd.  Along with a Low Cope Course, Rock Climbing, and Water Sports, this active venture crew is activating an amateur radio demonstration station.

The Boy Scouts of America have released the rankings and numbers for all the merit badges earned during 2016.  From the Byran on Scouting blog the Radio Merit Badge came in at 74 with 6,442 badges earned during 2016.  A big thanks goes out to all of our Radio Scouters involved in making this happen throughout the year.  This year we expect to see a bump in numbers with the roughly 300 plus scouts going through this program at the National Jamboree this summer.

As we move into April, we're only 7 months out for Jamboree On the Air.  A lot of clubs are starting to plan Field Day operations.  Consider inviting your local council, district, or troop, out to your event.  Remember, the GOTA station is free and receives bonus points for each 20 QSOs made by the same guest operator.  What a great opportunity to get Scouts involved with your club!

For more information on K2BSA and radio scouting, please visit http://www.k2bsa.net/.

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

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HAMS' TRADITION OF SURVIVAL

JIM/ANCHOR: A husband-and-wife team of amateurs in South Africa has a special reason for going on the air with a most unique call sign. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF explains.

JIM MEACHEN: For South African radio operators Tom ZS1AFS and Sue ZS1AFR the annual tradition of being on the air as ZT1T is one for which they're immeasurably grateful. The activation marks the Morgans' dramatic rescue from their yacht which became disabled in the South Atlantic Ocean in 2011, while they were sailing to South Africa from the UK. The prefix of their call sign makes their radio operation all the more meaningful too, not just for Tom and Sue but for those who contact them, because "ZT" is a one-of-a-kind prefix for a South African call sign.

Having marked the anniversary date of their Feb. 25 rescue not long ago, Tom and Sue Morgan are now preparing for their next big radio operation. That will be Easter weekend. In an email to Amateur Radio Newsline, Tom said they operate every Christmas and Easter and often use the ZT1T call sign as well in events such as the WPX SSB Contest to provide a multiplier to operators. They will begin their Easter operation starting on Thursday the 13th of April, mostly on SSB but with some PSK-31 as well.

There's lots to celebrate, since the Morgans' on-air operations are always immensely popular -- especially because they're still here and still on the air.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

(SOUTHGATE AMATEUR RADIO NEWS)


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THE WORLD OF DX

In the world of DX, Jean-Marc, F5SGI, will be active between April 9th and 15th as EA6/F5SGI from Minorque Island. He will be operating on the HF bands, CW only. Send QSL cards to his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

Listen for Marc, ON5SM, in the Philippines where he is operating from April 4th through May 24th as DU9/ON5SM. He will be active on 80 meters through 6 meters using SSB and the Digital modes. Send QSL cards via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

Between April 18th and 27th, listen for Stephen/WF2S and Ralph/K1ZZI, operating from St. Lucia. You can hear them on various HF bands, most likely on SSB, RTTY, PSK and JT65. They will also operate some CW. Send QSL cards to their home callsigns, direct or LoTW, which is preferred.


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KICKER: PIERRE PULLINMYLEG AND A LICENSE WITH CLASS!

JIM/ANCHOR: And finally - no fooling - it's April Fool's Day time again but....we don't have to tell you what that means. We'll let our special correspondent Pierre Pullinmyleg do that. Pierre?

"PIERRE:" It is, mes amis, a happy development we report today that zee FCC is about to approve a newer, easier entry level class for amateur radio. Amateur Radio Newsline has confirmed zis in an exclusive interview with the new FCC commissioner Ajit Pai. The interview, she was so very very exclusive, in fact, that zee FCC commissioner himself was not even aware it took place!! What we have learned is that it will be so very simple, so very easy, tout de suite, for beginners to get on the air with this new radio license. Even your dog, she will be able to get her license. Rumors, they are true: This license exam is bringing back zee old Morse Code requirement -- but worry not, you must only be able to copy zee dashes, don't worry about zee dots. I, Pierre Pullinmyleg, have been given some super-secret advance access to the question pool as well which I share with you now: You must know the shoe size and birth date of zee last three FCC commissioners and you will be asked to write a limerick using words that rhyme with "propagation" and "DXpedition." Zere will also be a spelling bee. To get your license, you must be able to spell QRV, QST and QRZ and yes, even FCC. How about mathematics! Zoot alors! You must show you can add 73, 88 and 33 -- all without help from zee calculator or your fingers and toes. Now, mon cheri, please remember this license will be ONLY for hams using mobile operation. Zee vehicle must have an engine with no more than 4 cylinders and a horsepower of 150 or less. It must use zee unleaded fuel and cannot be a minivan. Your new entry level license is good for three years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. The test will be given only one day a year - on the 31st of April. BONNE CHANCE MES AMIS!! For Amateur Radio Newsline, this has been Pierre Pullingmyleg saying 73.

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NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; Daily DX; Galway VHF Group; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; Kinvara Rock and Road Marathon; K2BSA Amateur Radio Association; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ.COM; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; 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 Paul Braun WD9GCO in Valparaiso Indiana saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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