Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2063 for Friday, May 12, 2017

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2063 with a release date of Friday, May 12 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. The FCC gets a strong dose of malicious interference. AMSAT-Sweden reaches a milestone year -- and our top story, which looks at the impact of hands-free legislation on hams with mobile rigs. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2063 comes your way right now.




There is breaking news just released as this newscast was going to air.  ABC has cancelled the Tim Allen sitcom LAST MAN STANDING after 6 years.  Also, The CW pulled the plug on their drama FREQUENCY following it's first season.  Both shows featured amateur radio in their plots.  LAST MAN STANDING reruns are currently in syndication.  We will have more details as they become available.  Don Wilbanks, AE5DW reporting.  Jim...

JIM DAMRON/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with a look at mobile communications. With mobile rigs being second nature to so many radio amateurs, the crackdown by localities on motorists' cellphones and hands-free communications is starting to have an impact. Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun WD9GCO has the story of how one group of hams in Arizona is dealing with it.

PAUL: With the rise of cellphone usage, many states and communities are passing ordinances banning their use in cars without a hands-free device. However, as Jay Melnick KB0TS of the Radio Society of Tucson, Arizona points out, hams must remain diligent to make sure that amateur radio doesn't get caught up in the ban:

MELNICK: The Tucson City Council approved a 5-2 new ban on using cellphones while driving and that ban came into effect on May 1st.

Well, we all agree that distracted driving and driving with a cellphone is dangerous and should be dealt with, but the way I see it and the way we see it is a lot of city councils or county commissioners are so gung-ho that they jump too quick and they don't realize that there are people, mainly amateur radio operators, that need the equipment and they're very helpful to law enforcement and civil defense and public defense.

Under the new ordinance passed, anyone caught using a cellphone while driving will get a $250 fine for the first offense, and that doesn't involve an accident. If you are involved in an accident, that's $500 for a second violation and any subsequent violations and the minimum fine for anybody involved in a vehicle accident while using a cellphone will be $500.

They're also making it a secondary offense so you cannot be stopped if law enforcement just sees you talking on your cellphone and driving around.

But when they initially put this together they didn't think about amateur radio operators and other people who are operating two-way radio equipment, and a lot of the people in Tucson and Pima County, Arizona got together, especially hams, and brought it to the attention of the Pima County Sheriff's Department and we finally got something from Chief Karl Woodridge of the Pima County Sheriff's Operations Bureau, and it says that the Pima County Handheld Device Ordinance 10-34 will not affect the use of two-way radios. In the Ordinance, a hand-held electronic device will be defined as being designated to engage in calls (cell phones) rather than radio transmissions.

He has forwarded this information to their training personnel to ensure that the distinction "two-way radios vs. cellphones" is clearly explained to the deputies. They also went on to say that "the intent of this law is to prohibit calls and texting, not to interfere with drivers making radio transmissions. This falls under the "reasonableness" aspect of our enforcement efforts."

PAUL: Well, now the officials know: there are cell phones and then there are ham radios - two different technologies born of two different missions. Who better than hams to set the record straight that casual texting or talking isn't the same thing as needing to be on the air? When that understanding results in a reasonable adjustment being made to a very reasonable law, everyone is bound to benefit. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun, WD9GCO



JIM DAMRON/ANCHOR: Hams aren't the only ones who've been suffering from malicious interference lately. The Federal Communications Commission's chief information officer, David Bray, has reported that consumers trying to file remarks on the agency's Electronic Comment Filing System were met with efforts to block them.

The report, posted by the FCC on Monday, May 8, said the problem began late Sunday, May 7, and was the result of a number of deliberate denial-of-service attacks from some external source. The agency said the purpose was to bombard the comment system, providing an obstacle for legitimate users to file remarks themselves by tying up the servers.

The timing of the attack coincided with the broadcast of the HBO TV show, "Last Week Tonight," on which comedian John Oliver urged viewers to besiege the agency with comments in support of net neutrality, which the new FCC chairman Ajit Pai hopes to roll back.

The website crashed shortly after the broadcast. The FCC is disputing reports that linked the outage to the volume of contents and said it was working on resolving the issue.



JIM/ANCHOR: OK hams, start your radios' engines. Operators are revving up for three special events based at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This report comes to us courtesy of Amateur News Weekly and correspondent Jack Parker W8ISH.

JACK'S REPORT: As we cruise through May, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is gearing up for the first of its three auto races this summer. First up is the fourth annual running of the Indy Car Grand Prix May 13 and members of the W9IMS Radio Club will be on hand and on their ham radios with three special event DX stations. W9IMS is the official amateur radio voice for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They will be logging contacts all this week leading up to the race on May 13. You will find them on 20, 40 and 75 meters this year. Every station that logs in will receive a special QSL card. sdtations that score contacts on all three races will receive a special event certificate. Again, you must contact W9IMS during the Indy Car Grand Prix, the Indy 500 May 28 and the Brickyard 500 in July to qualify for the special certificate. As a member of the w9IMS special event station, I look forwad to hearing from you on the low bands and on the airwaves. Reporting for Amateur News Weekly from just outside the famed two-and-a-half mile oval, this is Jack Parker W8ISH.

JIM/ANCHOR: That report was from Amateur News Weekly. To hear more news serving hams in Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area, visit




JIM/ANCHOR: The Swedish section of AMSAT has lots to be proud of - how about 5 years of progress? Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH tells us why this is such a big deal for members there.

JEREMY: In Sweden, the celebration this year is quite a big one even if the group of people celebrating is still relatively small. AMSAT-SM, the Swedish section of AMSAT, turns 35 this year and boasts a modest but dedicated membership of 210 licensed amateurs.

The organization was created in April of 1982 to give licensed radio operators in Sweden a better look at things they can do on the air utilizing amateur satellites - but lately its goal has also embraced expanding its community and welcoming new satellite devotees among Swedish amateurs. Towards that end, AMSAT Sweden tries to hold a HF-Net on 80 meters on Sundays whenever possible, and the discussion usually focuses on space and, of course satellites.

AMSAT-SM membership is free and the organization is a big supporter of the FOX satellite project.

For more information, send an email to info-at-amsat-dot-se []

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



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including W-D-ZERO-H-W-T (WD0HWT), the Metro Area Repeater Association station in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, on Sunday evenings.


JIM/ANCHOR: In Ontario, the Lambton County Radio Club shared its emergency-response skills with the public at a special day set aside to showcase firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians and, of course emergency communications that are the specialty of amateur radio. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee KB3TZD with more on that story.

HEATHER'S REPORT: There was no real emergency at the Clearwater Arena in Sarnia, Ontario, but members of the Lambton County Radio Club responded anyway -- and responded well.

The radio operators were assisting at a emergency preparedness day event on Friday, May 5, and wanted to explain to visitors the important role ham radio has when nothing else works - not cell phones nor the power grid. More than 1,400 students attended the event, which focused on emergency preparedness by providing dozens of displays about fire and police services, as well radio response.

That's where the hams stepped in, led by club president Chuck Chivers VE3VSA.

Though students were able to check out the ambulances and police cars brought to the event by emergency services and law enforcement - and some even experienced what a sobriety test might be like - the amateurs were ready with their radios, as always.

The event, known as Emergency Preparedness Day, was held in recognition of National Emergency Preparedness Week, May 7-13, and is considered one of Canada's largest municipal and industrial emergency preparedness displays.

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

(The Lambton Shield, Ontario)



JIM/ANCHOR: It's time to remind you of Amateur Radio Newsline's commitment to honoring young talent. Is there a young radio operator who particularly impresses you? Nominations are still open for the Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year Award for amateurs 18 or younger who reside in the United States, its possessions or any Canadian province. Find application forms on our website 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, which is the end of this month.



JIM DAMRON/ANCHOR: New Zealand hams, are you ready to gear up for one of the country's more high powered low-power operating events? Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF tells us why this is such a big deal for radio operators.

JIM M's REPORT: No wonder hams in New Zealand are excited - the great grand-daddy of amateur contests from the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters is about to get under way on 80 meters: It's the NZART Sangster Shield Contest, named after Ralph Sangster, a local printer in Auckland. Ralph presented the shield to amateurs in 1927 with the idea that it be given annually to the New Zealand CW station with the highest score while operating at a low power -- in this case 5 watts PEP or less.

In short, this is about making the most of the lowest power possible by hams in New Zealand. Overseas participants contacting hams in New Zealand may use whatever power they wish, up to the maximum their licenses allow. New Zealand hams may also be mobile or portable.

Participants in New Zealand must be NZART members. Amateurs licensed for less than a year may also be in the running for the Transistor Trophy. For the highest-scoring South Island amateur there is also an Arthur Stevens Trophy named for Arthur ZL1MT, a Sangster Shield veteran himself.

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


JIM/ANCHOR: Things are moving along well in Puerto Rico where hams are trying to get the Amateur Radio Emergency Service up and running again after 35 years. Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto KP4RF and Section Emergency Coordinator Juan Sepulveda KP3CR led a meeting late April to move things forward. A Memorandum of Understanding has already been signed between the ARRL Puerto Rico section and the American Red Cross Puerto Rico Chapter.
ARES went dormant in Puerto Rico during the 1980s but more recent efforts have involved coordinating volunteers during emergencies and cooperating with other Caribbean islands to use 40 and 80 meters for radio response.

Another meeting is scheduled to be held in July.




In the world of DX, Walter DL3LBP is active as DL3LBP/p from Helgoland Island  between May 14-21st. Send QSL cards via DL3LBP, direct, by the Bureau, LoTW or eQSL.

Listen for Alexey/HC2AO, Sergey/R4WAA and Yan/RZ3FW operating as HD2RRC/4 and HD2RRC/P from Salango Island and Puna Island between May 21-30th. Find them mostly on 40/30/20 meters. QSL via RZ3FW or ClubLog's OQRS.

Roland, F8EN is returning to Gabon to operate as TR8CR between May 18th and June 3rd. Listen for him operating CW only on 20 and 30 meters. QSL via F6AJA.

Bruno, F4CZU, will be active as TK/F4CZU from Corsica until May 20th. Listen for Bruno on various HF bands, probably 40-10 meters. QSL via his home callsign.




JIM/ANCHOR: Finally, this last story is for you in case you're feeling a little off-the-wall. If you can't get to Ohio for Hamvention, you'll miss the QSL Card Wall that's one of the attention-getting features this year. So, here's another wall you can visit right there in your QTH instead. Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephen Kinford N8WB explains.

STEPHEN: If you can't get to Ohio to see the QSL wall - a massive wall of QSL cards planned for Hamvention - and if you aren't going to Friedrichschafen Germany, where the tradition began, how about this? The Les Nouvelles DX website where more than 14,600 old QSL cards are on display in a variety of galleries and albums. The collection contains some must-see cards - at least one card for each of the 60 deleted DXCC countries, hundreds of QSL cards bearing prefixes that have long since disappeared and more than 500 QSL cards from the 10 most wanted DXCC entities, collected between 2007 and 2016. You'll also see more than 450 QSL cards from the rare French Pacific Islands and more than 950 QSL cards from the bases in Antarctica.

The web page is located at

This is a virtual QSL card wall you can visit anytime!

Best of all, just like the wall at Hamvention - and just like the big wall in Germany visitors will see in July of this year - you can add your own cards. Upload them in .JPG format after creating a copy of both sides of the card. Send them with your comments to

If you visit the website, you'll notice it's in French but there is a Google translate link on the left-hand side so feel free to use it to switch languages.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; Chelmsford Weekly News; CQ Magazine; the FCC; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; the Lambton (Ontario) Shield newspaper; Ohio Penn DX Bulletin; 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 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 we hope to see you at Hamvention! 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

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

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