Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1834 October 5 2012

17:12 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1834 with a release date of October 5 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.   
The following is a QST.  200 micro sized ham-sats to be orbited in a single launch; Radio Amateurs of Canada wins a 5 year exemption for Ontario hams in distracted driving legislation; the European Parliament gets involved in the BPL controversary and the 2012 Scouting Jamboree on the Air is almost here.  Find out the details are on Amateur Radio Newsline� report number 1834 coming your way right now.

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Two hundred tiny ham radio satellites will be going into space in the not to distant future.  The project is called KickSat and we have more in this report.


KickSat is an amateur radio CubeSat technology mission designed to demonstrate the deployment and operation of prototype Sprite or tiny ChipSats developed at Cornell University.� The KickSat spaceframe is a CubeSat being built to carry and deploy 200 Sprites that will provide an avionics bus that will provide power, communications, command and data handling functions. It will be mated with a 2 unit deployer that has been developed to house the Sprites. 

Approximately 200 Sprites will be stacked atop a spring-loaded pusher and secured by a nichrome burn wire system. Once on-orbit, the wire burns away the Sprites will spring out into space.

As to the�Sprites, these are�tiny spacecraft that includes power, sensor, and communication systems.  Its built on a printed circuit board measuring 3.5 by 3.5 cm with a thickness of 2.5 mm and a mass of about 5 grams.  The Sprite is intended as a general purpose sensor platform for micro-electro-mechanical or other chip-scale sensors with the ability to downlink data to ground stations from Low Earth Orbit.

After deployment, telemetry and sensor measurements from the individual Sprites will be received through Cornell�s ground station in Ithaca, New York, as well as several other amateur radio ground stations around the world.� The Sprites are expected to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up within a few days or weeks depending on atmospheric conditions.  Their best case maximum orbital lifetime is estimated at 6 weeks.

The development team is currently investigating uses for the KickSat spaceframe after the Sprite deployment and is seeking collaborators who could make use of its capabilities as part of another extended mission.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the Studio in Los Angeles.


ChipSats like these Sprites represent a new technology that will both open space access to hobbyists and students and enable new types of science missions.  A significant portion of KickSat has been financed by over 300 individual sponsors through a funding website.  More is on-line at  (KickSat)



Some good news for hams living north of the United States and Canadaian border.  Radio Amateurs of Canada says that it has received written confirmation from Minister Bob Chiarelli of the Ontario Provincial Government regarding a five year extension of exemption for radio amateurs to the Ontario province distracted�driving law.

In his letter, Minister Chiarelli explains that the current exemptions for both Amateur Radio and Two Way Commercial Radios will be extended until January 1st, 2018.  He also expresses his hope that in that time commercial hands free alternatives will be found for two way radios. 

While Radio Amateurs of Canada says that it finds victory in the five year extension, it also says that a permanent solution is desired.  As such it will continue to pursue a permanent�exemption for amateur radio operators in Ontario provance. 

Similar exemptions already exist in many other provincial jurisdictions in Canada.  This, thanks in part to the efforts of local amateurs and Radio Amateurs of Canada�s national strategy to address distracted driving legislation.  (RAC, VE4WO)



Ham radio operators in the UK have some new allies in their fight against a proposed pan-European Power Line Technology or PLT standard�and the interference it could cause to broadcast as well as shortwave radio reception.  This as questions are raised by two legislators it in the European Parliament about it.  Amateur Radio Newsline�s Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, reports:


Syed Kamall is a Member of the European Parliament or MEP representing the city of London in the UK.  He says that he has been contacted by several of his constituents who are concerned about a proposed standard for power line transmission devices.  According to MEP Kamall, these constituents believe that if this standard is approved, the level of interference to all broadcast radio reception would increase to a level making it impossible to listen to a radio.

Those concerned explained to him that in 2011 a power line telecommunications electromagnetic compatibility standard was proposed by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization.   Kamall�s constituents allege that the proposed standard was rejected by a majority of the National Standards Committees while many suggested improvements to the proposed standard.  Some comments reaching him questioned the very high radio pollution levels that would be permitted from these devices, while other suggestions were aimed at improving the test methodology.

MEP Kamall goes on to note that while a revised version of the PLT standard is about to be circulated, his constituents believe it to be identical to the previously rejected standard, and that it rejects the suggestions from the National Standards Committees.  Also that his constituents claim that representatives of PLT equipment manufacturers dominate the Working Group that wrote the proposed standard and are lobbying National Standards Committees to support that standard.  This is because it would provide a legal basis for high PLT emission levels.

MEP Kamall is joined in his concern by Sir Graham Watson who is the Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar.  MEP Watson notes that his constituents also tell him that even though the Commission's Electromechanical Committee advisor has been notified that the proposed PLT standard does not meet the essential requirements of the EMC Directive, that the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization� has ignored this advice.  Also that it will continue to push the proposed PLT standard to be voted by the National Standards Committees.  He then notes that concerns have been expressed that the possible new PLT standard may not be compliant with European Commission�law.  

Both legislators want to know if the Commission shares the concerns of their respective constituents over the proposed PLT Electromagnetic Compatibility standard.  MEP Syed Kamall is even more direct.  He asks that if the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization�approves the proposed standard, is the Commission able to block it, and will it do so until it is deemed to meet the requirements of the EMC Directive?

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I�m Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, down-under in Nelson, New Zealand. 


In his questions to the European Parliament Sir Graham Watson asks if the Commission confident that the new standard will satisfactorily comply with the�European Union rules as set out in the EMC Directive?  He also wants to know what dialogues have Commission officials held with European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization to ensure compliance.  Meantime the UK ham radio community awaits replies to both of these inquiries.  PLT in the Europe is very similar to what we call in-home access BPL here in the United States.  (Southgate, UKQRM, others)



The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a special tribute to Wireless Institute of Australia President and IARU Region 3 Chairman,�Michael Owen VK3KI, who died unexpectedly Saturday, September 22nd.

According to the news release, the Australian Communications and Media Authority was saddened to hear of the death of Michael Owen.  He was responsible for significant reform of the Wireless Institute of Australia, was well known across the A-C-M-A and had worked closely with many staff on a range of issues, including several meetings and discussions in recent weeks.

The release ends by stating that the Australian Communications and Media Authority extends its condolences to the amateur community that Michael so tirelessly and effectively represented, as well as to his friends and family.  (ACMA)



From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the N0DRC repeater serving Trinidad, Colorado.

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, better known by the acronym NTIA has issued a�notice of inquiry.  This, seeking comment on how it should set up a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network that it calls FirstNet.  Amateur Radio Newsline�s Norm Seeley, KI7UP, has the details:


By way of background, this past February Congress enacted�The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.  One of its provisions was to create a nationwide interoperable broadband network that will help police, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals and other public safety officials to keep in contact with one another during extreme emergency or disaster situations. 

The law�s governing framework for the deployment and operation of this network, which is to be based on a single, national network architecture, is the new "First Responder Network Authority" or FirstNet.  This is an independent authority within NTIA. 

FirstNet will hold the spectrum license for the network.  It will also be charged with taking all actions necessary to build, deploy, and operate the network.  This, in consultation with Federal, State, tribal and local public safety entities, and other key stakeholders.

The NTIA has given the public until November 1st to comment on the conceptual architecture of such a network as outlined at the first FirstNet board of directors meeting that was held on September 25th.  It also is seeking input on a business plan and on developing applications for public safety users.

Comments to the NTIA on this proposed first responder system can be e-mailed to firstnetnoi (at) ntia (dot) doc (dot) gov.  

For the Amateur Radio Newsline I�m Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in Scottsdale, Arizona.


More about the proposed FirstNet system is on line at  (NTIA, B&C)



The 2013 National Association of Broadcasters convention is accepting technical paper or session proposals until October 19th.  This for presentation at its gathering slated for next April 6th to the 11th at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Submissions must relate to the creation and distribution of media and filmed entertainment.  Conferences scheduled so far include Broadcast Engineering, Broadcast Management, Cloud Computing, Creative Master Series, Disruptive Media and Military and a Government Summit.  

If you have a presentation that you feel might qualify, take your web browser to and read the page titled Speaking Opportunities.  (NAB)



Some improvements at  Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ, reports that he has added an additional server to the QRZ system and moved a few things around to improve performance for all users.  Among the changes are that all servers have been upgraded to the latest Ubuntu Linux Edition 12.04.  Also, various functions have been interchanged between the various cloud servers that host at Amazon Web Services.  

AA7BQ says that so far the performance looks really great on all parts of the system.  He notes that the callsign server, which was routinely at 90% busy now loafs along at around 50%.  

You can read about all the changes made by taking your web browser to  (



Nominations are open for the 2012 ARRL International Humanitarian Award.  The award is presented to an amateur or group of amateurs who 
demonstrate devotion to human welfare, peace and international understanding through amateur radio.  Full details on the nomination process can be found at 



Turning to names in the news.  NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, who holds the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, is the new Commander of the International Space Station.  Williams took over the leadership role on Saturday September 15th becoming only the second female commander in the orbiting lab's 14-year history.  

Sunita Williams is a captain in the U.S. Navy and flying on her second long-duration space mission.  She first launched into space in 2007 and spent 195 consecutive day�s on-orbit and setting a record for the longest single spaceflight by a female astronaut. 

Williams launched to the station in July.  She will command its Expedition 33 crew before returning to Earth in November. (NASA)



CQ Contest Hall of Fame member and WPX Contest Director Randy Thompson, K5ZD, has been named Director of the CQ World Wide DX Contest, effective immediately. Thompson succeeds Bob Cox, K3EST, who retired in September after 35 years at the helm of the world's most popular amateur radio contest. 

Thompson, 53, has been a ham since age 13. He is an accomplished contester, having multiple wins in the CQ World Wide DX Contest and the CQ WPX Contest, among others. He has also competed in four World Radiosport Team Championships. In addition, Randy is a past editor of the "National Contest Journal" and a co-founder of the website. He is a longtime member of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club and an instructor at K3LR's Contest University. 

Thompson has been Director of the CQ WPX Contest since 2008 and his  appointment to the directorship of the CQ World Wide DX Contest creates a vacancy for director of the CQ WPX Contests. Anyone interested in taking on the challenge of leading a major contest should contact Thompson by e-mail to k5zd (at) cqwpx (dot) com.  (CQ)



A ham that operates an on-line only radio station will be holding a three-day radiothon later this month.  This, to raise awareness of, and funding to combat of Brest Cancer.  

According to Bill Bergadano, KA2EMZ, of Radio Scooter International, the event will be held on October 19, 20 and 21 and will honor Jeri James who passed away from the disease last December.  Bergadano says that James father was a ham radio operator.  

More about this very special humanitarian event is on-line at  (KA2EMZ)



A word of congratulations to the LaGrange, Georgia, 6 meter Buzzard Net that celebrated its first anniversary session on Monday, October 1st.  According to Bob Yates, W4GCB, this is an informal net, created one year ago with the goal of promoting activity on 6 meters in the LaGrange area.  

LaGrange, Georgia, is located 60 miles southwest of Atlanta near the southern boundary between Grid Squares EM72 and EM73.  The net control is Ed  Ekkebus, KE4EE, with assistance from Rob Momon, N4VPI.  The net meets every Monday evening on 50.155 Mhz at 00:30 UTC.   

W4GCB says that during its first 12 months of operation the net has garnered close to 1,500 check in�s, with a handful coming from E-skip contacts.  (W4GCBL)



And congratulations also to the Huntsville Alabama Amateur Radio Club on its 50th Anniversary.

The first Huntsville Amateur Radio Club was organized on October 6, 1947, with Bill Neal, W4FZD, as the first President.  The constitution was approved March 22, 1948. There were twenty-two members of this initial organization but due to a lack of interest, the club was disbanded in the spring of 1949.

The second Huntsville Amateur Radio Club also known as HARC was organized April 18, 1952, at the WFUN Studio.  John Garrison, W4FOG, elected as the first President.  

The constitution and by-laws were adopted June 20, 1952.  16 members were on the first club roster and the club participated in its first Field Day event on June 21 and 22, 1952.  HARC became affiliated with the American Radio Relay League on September 26, 1952, and remains so to this day.  

The first club call, K4DTV, was obtained in July of 1954.  The club's current callsign K4BFT, in honor of Hammond Carpenter, K4BFT was voted in by the club members on April 3, 1964.  More about the history of the Huntsville group is on-line at  (HARC)



This is ham radio news for today�s radio amateur.  From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline with links to the world from our only official website at and being relayed by the volunteer services of the following radio amateur:

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It is not often that a father and son obtain doctorates in engineering during the same week.  But it has happened and the latest involves two hams in South Africa.  Amateur Radio Newsline�s Hewather Butera-Howell, KB3TZD, reports:


Dr. Gary Immelman. ZS6YI, and his son Dr. Quintin Immelman, ZS6IY, both acquired doctorates in engineering during the same week, but from different universities.
Gary Immelman obtained a Doctorite is Technologiae Engineering and Technology from the Vaal University of Technology.� Quintin acquired his Ph.D. in Mechanical-Nuclear Engineering from South Africas North West University.� The two graduation ceremonies were not originally planned to fall within the same time frame, so chance made it at remarkable week to remember.
It should be noted that last year at this time ZS6YI was recovering from gunshot wounds that he suffered as a result of a brutal attack at his home on July 25 of 2011.� Late word is that hes almost fully back to good health but still has pain in his right arm and abdomen.� That said, the incident has not slowed him down in any way.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Heather Butera-Howell, KB3TZD, near Berwick Pennsylvania.


Our congratulations to both ZS6YI and ZS6IY and their achievements.  (SARL)



South Africa�s Hamnet website was reactivated on October 1st.  Hamnet is a voluntary group of radio amateurs who, like ARES in the United States, volunteer their communication skills to assist others during and after disasters.  

Their Hamnet domain has been dormant for many years.  Now thanks to the efforts of Dawie Conradie, ZR6DHC, an initial site has been put together and will grow with time.  

The revitalized Hamnet website is described as filling the gap between the South African Radio League website and the well established Hamnet Facebook page.  

All links have been incorporated in the website, including some that are international.  Its located in cyberspace at, 



Turning to ham radio space related news, word that UKube-1, the United Kingdom Space Agency's first CubeSat mission, has booked its journey into space on board a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket. The launch from Kazakhstan is expected to take place sometime in March of 2013.  The tiny satellite carries an amateur radio 435 to 145 MHz linear transponder built by members of AMSAT-UK. (AMSAT UK)



A high altitude sky-diver plans to leap from nearly 23 miles above the Earth on October 8th.  This, in a high sped plunge that, if successful, will be the world's highest ever skydive.  Amateur Radio Newsline�s Jim Damron, N8TMW, has the details:


If all goes according to plan, a helium-filled balloon will lift off from Roswell, New Mexico on that date carrying�Felix Baumgartner to an altitude of 120,000 feet in a custom built capsule that will keep him in radio contact with the personnel at his mission control center on the ground.  Once at altitude, Baumgartner will step out of the capsule and jump back toward Earth in his attempt to break a skydiving record that has stood for 52 years.

The current record for world's highest skydive stands at 102,800 feet. It was set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who serves as an adviser for Baumgartner's mission.  If Baumgartner succeeds, he will break not only that mark but also the�sound barrier, becoming the first skydiver ever to fall at supersonic speeds.  During a July 25th  jump, Baumgartner's top freefall speed was 540 mph which is about as fast as a commercial airliner flies.  

According to Baumgartner�s launch team, this is more than a simple attempt at setting a world�s record.  If successful it will prove the viability of the next generation of space suits that can be worn by astronauts and cosmonauts working in the near space environment.  

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I�m Jim Damron, N8TMW, reporting.


A video of July 25th practice jump is on-line at  The mission�s own website is at (Published news reports)



Plans to move the International Space Station to a slightly different orbit were called off on Thursday, September 27th.  This after controllers determined that two pieces of orbital debris would not pose a collision risk.

According to NASA, Mission controllers had been monitoring debris from an old Russian Cosmos satellite and a fragment from an Indian rocket.  Some scientists had said there was a chance that the debris could come close enough to require an adjustment in the station's orbit.

But NASA said additional tracking of the debris resulted in a high degree of confidence that neither object would pose any possibility of a collision with the ISS. As a result, Mission Control in Houston canceled the debris avoidance maneuver with concurrence of Russian flight controllers.

Space debris moves at a high orbital velocity rate and has the ability to cause damage to various operational on-orbit birds including the ISS.  As such, flight engineers and spacecraft controllers try to give such space junk a wide berth whenever something might come close. 




On the air listen out for special event station 8J7NPMG.  It will be operational through October 16th from Miyagi prefecture on Honshu Island to celebrate the 25th All Japan Health and Welfare Festival. QSL only via bureau.  (DXNL)



Also, the National Wildlife Refuge Special Event is slated for October 14th to the 20th and ham radio will again be helping to mark the occasion.  The goal is to combine the communication skills of amateur radio operators with their enjoyment of the outdoors as a way to help others learn about the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Only authorized, safe, responsible access to refuges are sanctioned by this event.  For more information please contact the events coordinator at info (at) nwrweek-radio (dot) info.  (Arizona ARRL Newsletter)



This is ham radio news for today�s radio amateur.  From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline with links to the world from our only official website at and being relayed by the volunteer services of the following radio amateur:

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In DX, OD5RW is on the air from Lebanon operating on 80 meters through 70 centimeters using CW, SSB, RTTY, SSTV and other digital modes.  He also has D-Star capability on VHF and UHF.  QSL via K8NA.

F6EXV and DJ8NK will be active from�Niger through October 15th as 5U6E�and�5U8NK�respectively.  Operation will be on the High Frequency bands though modes have not been announced.  QSL 5U6E via F6EXV�and 5U8NK via DJ8NK.

F6AML will be active from�Mayotte Island�through October 19th as�T-Oh-2-M.�He will be operational on 80 through 10 meter CW and SSB.  QSL via home call.�

N6XT and N7CQQ currently active portable KH8 from�American Samoa. They are reported to be operational on all of the High Frequency bands using various modes.  QSL via home calls

DJ7RJ will be on the air from Reunion Island signing stroke FR until October 21st.  He plans to be active on all bands 10 to 160 meters using CW and SSB.  QSL as directed on the air.

LZ1CNN has received his Afghan callsign and plans to be active as T6LG until next February.  He'll be on all bands, CW and SSB.  QSL via L-Zed-1-Zed-F and all QSO�s will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Lastly, and down the DX road a bit word that K2TTT will be operational as C6ATT from New Providence Island between June 8th to the 15th, 2013. Activity will be on 40 through 10 meters. QSL via K2TTT.



And finally this week, the biggest event of the scouting season involving ham radio is drawing near.� Amateur Radio Newsline's Mark Abramovich, NT3V, is here with the details:


It's the largest Scouting event in the world. Last year, it drew more than 750,000 Scouts in 150 countries to the ham radio frequencies manned by 6,000 amateur radio operators.

It's the 55th annual Jamboree on the Air which which runs the weekend of Oct. 20-21.
Jim Wilson, K5ND, national Jamboree on the Air organizer for the United States as well as chairman of the national Radio Scouting committee, says it's a chance for amateur radio to introduce young men and women to the adventure and fun of the hobby... 

"It's not a contest, it's a conversation," Wilson says. "And, there's no prizes handed out for the number of contacts that you make. Instead, it's about talking with Scouts, and, ideally, Scouts talking with other Scouts - either across town, across the state, across the nation, or across the world." 

Wilson says in the United States, many Scout councils will be conducting camporees on JOTA weekend and amateurs will set up stations and put the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers on the air.

He says the neatest thrill for operators taking part in the event is facilitating a Scout working a DX contact, and ideally talking with a Scout overseas... 

"The real excitement is seeing a Scout's eyes light up as they realize that they're communicating over such a long distance and how all this gear comes into play," says Wilson.

Wilson says he's already spoken with a few JOTA station organizers who are planning something special for the Scouts....

"They like to have the Scouts build their own antenna, test the antenna to see what the Standing Wave Ratio is and all that sort of stuff and then put it on the air and make a contact," Wilson says. "So, it's a simple dipole, a very easy way for them to do hands on and then watch as the result of their work makes a contact. It can be a very exciting experience for that Scout."

Wilson says there will be lots of activity on the air that weekend, including a scheduled contact from the BSA's Scouting museum in Texas with the International Space Station.

But he cautions amateurs need to make sure they brush up on those third-party agreements to ensure everyone stays legal.

Wilson says there's another very important reason to roll out the welcome mat for the Scouts...
"Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and Venturers that will be participating in Jamboree on the Air are the same people that are going to be writing the regulations for your antennas at your neighborhood level, at the city level, at the state level, at the federal level," Wilson says. "And now is a good time to reach out to them to say amateur radio has real value, it's making a difference in the world. This is the time to reach them.

"And JOTA is a great way to do that not only to grow the ranks of amateur radio, but to just introduce kids who may never participate in amateur radio so that they understand that it's magic, it's fun, and it contributes to our communities in a very positive way."

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, in Philadelphia.


More information on JOTA 2012 is on-line at  The scouts say that they hope to make contact with you on the air.




With thanks to Alan Labs, AMSAT, the ARRL, the CGC Communicator, CQ Magazine, the FCC, the Ohio Penn DX Bulletin, Radio Netherlands, Rain, the RSGB, the Southgate News, the South African Radio League, TWiT-TV and Australia's WIA News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline�.  Our e-mail address is newsline (at) arnewsline (dot) org.  More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's� only official website located at  You can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline�, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California, 91350 

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors� desk, I�m Jim Davis, W2JKD, saying 73 from Vero Beach, Florida, and we thank you for listening.  

Amateur Radio Newsline� is Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.

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