Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2062 for Friday, May 5, 2017

13:17 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments


Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2062 with a release date of Friday, May 5 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. There's a tragedy in India - and hams respond. Morse Code's ruled unnecessary in Taiwan -- and in Ohio, the Voice of America Museum opens its doors for Hamvention. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2062 comes your way right now.




NEIL/ANCHOR: Our top story this week is the report of a sudden -- and tragic -- collapse of a jetty on a riverfront in India bustling with commuters. Local hams rushed to the scene to assist with the rescue efforts, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline' Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY's REPORT: Hams in West Bengal responded to a dramatic rescue effort on a riverfront outside Kolkata, India after an aging wooden jetty in disrepair collapsed, sending at least four people to their death and injuring more than a dozen. The jetty, which was in disrepair, was crowded with more than 150 commuters, including school children, at the time of its collapse in the Hooghly River about 22 miles north of Kolkata on April 26. The commuters were waiting for boats to ferry them to jetties on the opposite bank.

As local fishermen took their boats out into the water to pull victims from the water, and others dived in, members of the West Bengal Radio Club arrived on the scene with their 2-meter handheld transceivers and using EchoLink, contacted the club station VU2MQT 15 kilometers away to assist in the rescue effort. Rinku Nag Biswas VU2JFB was at the club station and able to relay information. The EchoLink station utilized the KM6EOM repeater of the Wanderers Amateur Radio Club in Los Angeles, California after contacting its custodian Greg KI6GIG.

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




NEIL/ANCHOR: Morse Code has become history once again. It's no longer a requirement for amateurs seeking their license in Taiwan. Here's more from Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW.

JOHN'S REPORT: Following the lead taken by so many other nations, Taiwan's National Communications Commission is preparing to do away with the Morse Code requirement for amateur licensees in that nation.
The change, which is contained in a recent amendment, has already been approved but won't take effect immediately because the amendment must first be presented for public view for two months.
The NCC's frequency and resources department deputy director Chen Chun-mu told the Taipei Times that in addition to dropping the code requirement, the amendment also extends the lifetime of an amateur license from five years to 10 and allows hams with expiring licenses to begin the renewal process as many as five months before the expiration date. Presently hams in Taiwan can only do this one month before expiration.
Commission data reflects that 42,900 licenses have been issued by the NCC for qualified operators between 2012 and 2016.
Morse Code became an optional part of global amateur radio after the World Radiocommunication Conference of 2003 when the International Telecommunications Union gave nations the right to decide individually whether Code proficiency would remain part of their licensing qualifications.
In the U.S. the FCC did away with the Morse Code requirement for the Technician class entry level license in 1991 and a change that took effect in 2007 eliminated the FCC code requirement from licenses altogether. Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and the UK also number among the many nations no longer requiring Morse.

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




NEIL/ANCHOR: Been on 60 meters lately? Well listen up, you might hear some newcomers, as Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF tells us.

JIM'S REPORT: It's getting a little bit busier on the air these days between 5351.5 kHz and 5366.5 kHz as hams in Malta and the United Arab Emirates get the green light to get on the band. The Malta Communications Authority's new national plan gives amateurs there access to the 60 meter band on a secondary basis. The maximum power permitted is 15w EIRP. Likewise, hams in the UAE are permitted to a maximum power of 15w EIRP. Malta and the UAE join a number of nations that have been enjoying privileges on 60 meters, including hams in the U.S. who were given access by the FCC in 2012 for the band's use on a channelized basis. Eight channels have also been available for hams in Israel since 2013 for General and Extra class licensees. The Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic and Greenland are among those nations also having access using channelized operation.

Since the agreement at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015 many countries who are new to the band are adopting the 15KHz band rather than channels along with the 15 watts effective isotropic radiated power limit.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF



NEIL/ANCHOR: The K2BSA call sign is going camping again this week and will also be part of a net. Here are the details from Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Stearns NE4RD.

BILL'S REPORT: This week in Radio Scouting we have 2 activations of the K2BSA callsign, 1 activation from Scout Camps on the Air, a Scouters Net, and more.

Russ Mickiewicz, N7QR, will be the control operator for K2BSA/7 at the Sunset Trails District Camporee in Rainier, OR, on Saturday May 6th.  This is the annual Camporee for the Sunset District of the Cascade Pacific Council which consists of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of the west Portland Oregon area.  Russ will have about 200 boys who will compete in patrols including various skills such as knot tying, tomahawk throwing, fire starting, canoe portaging among others.  One of the stops will be the amateur radio station where they will hear about the station and get points by answering questions and get bonus points for talking on the air.  Russ will have scouts on the air from 9am to 4pm PST probably starting out on 14.290 MHz. With the 7 area QSO party going on, there should be plenty of local activity, and hopefully contest participants will give this group some room.

Ray Dzek, N6DZK, will be the control operator for K2BSA/6 at the Scout-o-Rama for the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council at Historic Park in San Jose, CA on Saturday May 13th.  Ray will have a 100' tower with a Yaesu FT-991 into a Hex Beam.  They will be on the air from 10am to 4pm PST on 40, 20, or 15 meters depending on band conditions.

Stephen Shearer, WB3LGC, will be the control operator for KB3NCC at the Henson Scout Reservation in Rhodesdale, MD, on Friday May 5th through the 6th.  Stephen will be running 15 watts or less on 40/20 PSK on Friday and then joining into the state QSO parties on voice and CW in the 10-10 contest for Saturday.

The Radio Scouting Net will be on Thursday May 11th at 9pm Central on Echolink *JOTA-365*.  If you are interested in talking with some veterans of Radio Scouting, this is a great opportunity to have an informal discussion during the net.

Hamvention is approaching rapidly, and the K2BSA group will be present in building 2 in Booth 2205.  Please consider a visit to the booth to learn more about what you can do to get involved in radio scouting like getting scouts to your field day event and learn about our upcoming events like National Jamboree and Jamboree on the Air.

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.


NEIL/ANCHOR: One more reminder that the deadline approaches to nominate a candidate for Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year Award. Do you know someone 18 or younger who particularly impresses you? This is Amateur Radio Newsline's commitment to honoring young talented radio operators. Find application forms on our website at under the "YHOTY" tab. Nominations close May 31 -- that's later this month!

Also be listening on Tuesday May 9 at 8 p.m. Central Time as Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks AE5DW joins Ted Randall WB8PUM on the QSO Radio Show, heard live on WTWW 5085 kHz.



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OH-KY-IN) Amateur Radio Society repeater, 146.670 MHz, in Cincinnati, Ohio.



NEIL/ANCHOR: It's May and Hamvention is coming! And not more than an hour's drive from Dayton Hamvention is another popular gathering spot for amateurs: the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting located at the site of VOA's Bethany Relay Station in West Chester Township. If you're going to Hamvention and you're free after 5 p.m., check it out. Amateur Radio Newsline's Mike Akins KE5CXP has the details.

MIKE: It's not quite quite Hamvention after dark but the VOA Museum is still offering some incredible nightlife for amateurs visiting Ohio starting May 19th. Although the Bethany Relay Station stopped operating in 1994 and its towers have long since come down, its doors will be open to amateurs who'll want to experience its rich history in global radio. The museum's executive director, Jack Dominic, said there's plenty to see - and do.

JACK: If you think about it, it is kind of a must-see for someone who hasn’t been here before. If you are interested in ham radio, you are interested in shortwave and this facility is arguiably the most significant shortwave presence in the whole United States. At one time, six of the world's highest-power shortwave transmitters were located here.

MIKE: Take a tour and see one of the transmitters, a 1960 vintage Collins rig, visit the control room and see the antenna-switching matrix that once allowed transmissions to be aimed directly at Europe, North Africa and South America. The museum also contains equipment from Robert L. Drake's personal amateur radio collection. Museum board member Gary West K8DEV says yes, bring your license and you can even get on the air!

GARY: We have a club station here, the West Chester Amateur Radio Association. We are here in West Chester Township and WC8VOA is our call sign. We have got six operating stations and we do encourage people to get on the air when they are here. If they are interested, just let us know.

MIKE: The open house promises to be a celebration of wireless. Admission is $5 and the doors are open on May 19th and May 20th until 9 p.m. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mike Askins KE5CXP.



NEIL/ANCHOR: We bring you another installment in our occasional series, Nets of Note. This one has real historical significance - and it's high-flying too. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun WD9GCO.

PAUL'S REPORT: This week's "Net of Note" is a very special one with a lot of American history tied in. I spoke with group member Jon Stromsland, WA6LJS, about what makes their net special:

JON: It's called the Air Force Flyers Club Net and it's a historic and patriotic group of airmen from all wars and all branches of the military - Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard - who served as pilots, air crew, ground crew, missle crew and we've even got air traffic controllers in the net.

The net was started in 1989 by WA7IFX who's since become a silent key. Some of the original members are silent keys now, but the ones that started it were basically World War II pilots. The first member, Van Nordstrom was a B-17 gunner.

We have the distinction of having the youngest fighter ace in history there - we had November Three Golf Tango Tango, Dale Karger was his name - and he was 19 years old when he flew P-51's and he had eleven kills.

PAUL: This "net of note" has definitely had some "members of note," many of which were notable outside of the ham radio world:

JON: We also have some historic people that were in the net. People have heard of General Curtis LeMay - he was called the Father of Strategic Air Command, and in 1961 General LeMay was the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. He was also a ham radio operator and in 1957 he established single-sideband as the standard for high-frequency communications for SAC bombers.

PAUL: They have even had one former U.S. Senator:

JON: Barry Goldwater, who IÕm sure everybodyÕs heard of, he used to check into the net way back when and he did phone patches for the troops back in the early 60Õs

PAUL: Membership has fallen off in recent years, according to Stromsland, but still remains very active:

JON: At one point, we had over 500 members and a lot of the old-time members of course, have become silent keys, but currently we have about 69 active members.

PAUL: I asked Stromsland where you can find the net:

JON: The net meets on 20 meters every day, seven days a week, on 14.290 at 1530 Zulu. And then on Tuesdays only, we have a 40 meter net that comes on right after the 20 meter net closes on 7.181 in the morning and on Tuesday in the evening at 7pm Pacific time we meet on 7.278.

PAUL: While you have to be either active military or a veteran in order to join the net, anyone is welcome to check into the net and join in the discussion. And, as always, we here at Amateur Radio Newsline thank all our military, past and present, for your service.

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

NEIL/ANCHOR: Meanwhile, if you know of a net with an interesting story to tell, email us at newsline at and we might just feature it in our occasional series Nets of Note.



In the world of DX, we have a few CW operators who'll be calling QRZ. You have a few more days to listen for S79J operating from Mahe Island in the Seychelles Islands. The callsign is being used by Ivan LZ1PJ until the 10th of May. Listen for S79J operating in CW on the HF bands and on 6m. QSL to the home call.

Martin MW0BRO is operating from Qatar as A7/MW0BRO through the 18th of May. He is transmitting from the Qatar Amateur Radio Society club station in Doha. Listen for him operating in CW on 80 through 10m. QSL to his home call.

Gab HB9TSW is operating as Z68BG from Slatina Air Base in Pristina, Kosovo until the 23rd of May. He will use CW on 40m to 10m. QSOs with Kosovo do not count for the DXCC Award at the present time.

On Saint Martin Island, John K9EL is operating as FS/K9EL on SSB, CW and RTTY through the 15th of May. Listen for him on 80 meters through 6 meters. Send QSL cards via the home call, OQRS, LoTW and eQSL.




NEIL/ANCHOR: Finally, we end this newscast with the tale of a modest project in Australia that wasn't so modest after all -- finding a way to get kids interested in space travel and radio tracking with the help of a small animal. Well, OK, a plush toy small animal. Let's hear more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp VK4BB.

GRAHAM: Can an echidna fly? Well, if you're a spiny anteater named Anstey and you're in the company of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group in Adelaide, South Australia, you can not only fly, you can soar.

That was the fate of Anstey, a plush toy echidna who got a trip into space with the help of the radio amateurs group, including Mark Jessop VK5QI. Anstey went up into the sky via a high-altitude balloon - one of many the amateur group has launched over the years - as a way of grabbing the attention of young South Australians at the Tea Tree Gully library at the end of last year. The plush toy is the library's mascot and she became a mascot with a mission.

Anstey was sent up to a height of about 23 miles from a sports field in the Adelaide Hills and was tracked via radio to a somewhat soft landing a few days later in a wheat field about 75 miles from where she had been launched.Mark said she was buried in the tops of the wheat and wasn't visible until they literally stumbled upon her. The journey took the little plush toy into air temperatures estimated to be minus 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

The library, however, had a good warming feeling about the whole matter. ABC News Australia picked up on the story recently, as did other media. Now the celebrity echidna is back at the library for another appearance. On May 8, younsters will visit the library, learn about the journey, meet the well-traveled toy and celebrate the first echidna in space. Likely she won't be the last.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to ABC News Australia; Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; Chelmsford Weekly News; ;CQ Magazine; DX Coffee; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the Hindustan Times; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association; the Radio Society of Great Britain; Southgate Amateur Radio News; the Taipei Times; 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 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 Neil Rapp WB9VPG in Bloomington 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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