Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1999, February 19, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1999 with a release date of Friday, February 19, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Orlando Hamcation is over, but hams are still talking about it. Hams in Minnesota activate a frozen lake - yes, a very icy one. Ohio hams open state borders for Antenna Day. And a mock earthquake shakes things up in Utah. All this and more in Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1999 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here and Intro)



JIM/ANCHOR: We begin this week's newscast with a look back at this month's Orlando Hamcation, the second largest gathering of amateurs after Dayton Hamvention. It wasn't just the 70th such Hamcation; it was also the 2016 ARRL National Convention. And it was so much more - as we hear now from Amateur Radio Newsline's Gordon West, WB6NOA, who clearly had a great time.




JIM/ANCHOR: Of course, if you prefer some place a little bit cooler than sunny Florida, consider the spot chosen by hams during the recent long Presidents Day weekend. It was a frozen lake. In frozen Minnesota. Amateur Radio Newsline's Kent Peterson, KC0DGY, breaks the ice with that hardy bunch:




[ANCHOR/JIM:] Moving on to Ohio, there's something decidedly different about this year's Antenna Day being held there - and organizers are hoping for far-reaching results. Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephen Kinford, N8WB, explains:


The Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Antenna Day in Ohio isn't necessarily just an Ohio event anymore. ARRL's Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, wants the April 23 ARES event opened up to include stations in neighboring states. He's also hoping to set up anchor stations around Ohio so consistent signal reports can be offered to others participating in the public safety prep exercise.

Broadway explained that Antenna Day is more of a research exercise than a contest, Last year's event attracted a number of operators and EOCs, working to establish which NVIS antennas were the best to use for emergency communications. This year's event begins at 1500 UTC on April 23, allowing teams to contact one another and compare the performance of their antennas. At the conclusion of the event, participants will file reports with call sign, location, operators, number of contacts, and all antenna design and deployment details.

Broadway said [QUOTE] "We would really like to make this a regional event in 2016, with stations in their state EOCs and around the Ohio border to test their own capabilities." [ENDQUOTE]

NVIS antennas are growing in popularity for emergency regioanl communication because of their close-up radiation patterns on HF.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephen Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio.



The amateur community is mourning the death of David Lefavour, W7GOX, of Los Lunas, New Mexico, who was a member of the Hurricane Watch Net for more than 20 years, and who served as its net manager between 2006 and 2009. He had also served as a net controller for the Maritime Mobile Service Network.

In 2013, he was given the status of receiving manager emeritus for the Hurricane Watch Net. The Net manager, Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, credited him for his effective leadership on the air. He said QUOTE "Dave was one of the few I've met who had a very calming and reassuring voice during any emergency situation." ENDQUOTE

The former Navy fighter pilot was 82 at the time he became a Silent key on Feb. 8.



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the 16 repeaters of the Peak Radio Association
serving Western Oregon's my513 Net.



JIM/ANCHOR: It's no secret that sometimes being a ham brings out the very best in a person. We hear now about an amateur from Spain who's being recognized for being the very best that he can be - as a ham and a humanitarian. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot, G4NJH:


In the eyes of the ARRL, Antonio Gonzalez, EA5RM, isn't just a noted DXer but a very notable humanitarian. So when it was time for the ARRL Programs & Services Committee to recommend someone for the league's 2015 International Humanitarian Award, there was no question the panel would put Senor Gonzalez's name in for consideration before the board of directors. Senor Gonzalez was originally nominated by Paul Ewing, N6PSE, president of the Intrepid-DX Group. Ewing wrote this about Senor Gonzalez: QUOTE "He is a devoted family man and public servant in Spain. He is a keen DXer, and he regularly organizes DXpeditions to remote and rare places. Antonio pays for all of this travel from Spain to Bolivia." ENDQUOTE

Senor Gonzalez, who has been a volunteer with Radio Amateurs Without Borders, helping them build, test and maintain solar-powered HF amateur radio equipment in the remotest spots in Bolivia since 2007. He has also visited the Bolivian Amazon six times supporting the introduction of medical assistance and sanitation facilities. The well-known Dxer has served as chief pilot station for the VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpedition to South Sandwich and South Georgia.

The award is considered a recognition of a radio amateur's effort to help the welfare of others.

Upon learning he would receive the award, Gonzalez was quoted as simply saying "What a surprise!"

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot, G4NJH, in Nottingham, the UK.




JIM/ANCHOR: The only thing real about the earthquake in Utah earlier this month was the response it got from hams and other emergency team members. But that's what made the mock drill such a success. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bobby Best, WX4ALA, has this report:


For more than just a moment, no one had trouble believing that an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 had just rocked Cedar City, Utah. Responders from Iron County Emergency Management joined the Utah National Guard 213th Forward Support Company, area fire and police departments and radio amateurs at various locations in distress. And on Wednesday, Feb. 3, the scene was set.

But it was only a scene, after all - it was a mock 3-day drill called "Operation Seismos" that was designed to test emergency response. As various responders turned up, so too did some 160 members of the Rainbow Canyon's Amateur Radio Club, ready to relay messages from the scene of the fictional disaster: the interstate was to have buckled in two spots, a fire station was to have collapsed, and building fires were scattered throughout the area.

Don Blanchard, WA7GTU, of the Rainbow Canyon's Amateur Radio Club, said in news reports that the club's teams gave damage assessments from various simulated problem sites, reporting some of their findings by voice, others by digital mode, entering the details directly into the necessary government forms by email.

Emergency Management Coordinator John Higley called the hams' use of digital communications via email "groundbreaking." He told the St. George, Utah, news "we are doing things not done elsewhere in the world as far as communications with our ham radio operators. We are not just practicing voice communication, but they are using digital communications." 

He said this was the first time the technique was used in an emergency simulation setting but it won't be the last: Another drill is set for March.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bobby Best, WX4ALA.




The Central Coast of Australia is having a field day. Or rather, the hams there are. It's set for Sunday Feb. 28, 2016 at the Wyong Race Course in New South Wales, and is considered one of the major gatherings of radio amateurs in Australia, offering  seminars, workshops and, of course, license assessments for all amateur grades. The all-important Foundation license class itself will be held the day before, on Saturday the 27th.

Seminars are being held on the first floor of the main building at the race course, covering a range of topics from power supplies to DXPeditions.

Admission is $15 for all amateurs older than 17. No admission is charged for hams younger than 17.

For more details, visit the website




JIM/ANCHOR: Speaking of hams in Australia, the Wireless Institute of Australia wants to see and hear more of them. Lots more of them. So it's been busy attracting new and returning licensees by sending out a message that says, at least in spirit, "you can run but you cannot hide!" Here's more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp, VK4BB.


Once a ham, always a ham. Right?
Well, the Wireless Institute of Australia believes this is true, and has been casting a wide net to encourage and attract radio returnees - people they are calling "lapsed" radio amateurs.

In a way, the WIA is calling CQ.

And yes, that call is being heard. Former licensees are finding their way back home to the bands, as the WIA reports that it has seen in recent months what it's deemed a "small avalanche" of callsign recommendations from returnees.

But that hasn't stopped the WIA from calling. Its awareness campaign has touched the very young and those much, much older - from the schools and professional organizations to the Grey Nomads as they hit the open road in search of adventure on the vast Australian landscape. The WIA has also sought publicity in the Rotary and Lions, as well as the newsletters of the Returned and Services League of Australia.

In short, the WIA wants hopeful hams and returnees to know that it's never too late to get a license and start calling CQ themselves. You never know who'll answer.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham, Kemp, VK4BB.



Australia isn't the only country hoping to bring more amateurs onto the air. In India, the Indian Institute of Hams has, likewise, begun an awareness campaign that reaches out specifically to youngsters in the port city of Mangaluru, in the Indian state of Karnataka (car-NOT-a-kah).

The institute's director, S. Sathyapal, said that it makes sense to have more active radio amateurs in a coastal location such as this, which is vulnerable to flooding and other disastrous conditions. He said only 100 hams are registered in Mangaluru and, of those, only 30 radio amateurs are considered active.

Even though disaster communication is a priority, the institute is stressing, among young recruits, radio's opportunities for global friendship and communication, as well as learning technical skills. In India, youngsters 12 and older are eligible to become licensed amateurs.



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the W8GK repeater in Charleston, West Virginia.



The Italian DXpedition Team is operating as 3-X-Y-ONE-T (3XY1T) from Los Island off the coast of Guinea in West Africa until March 4. They are on all bands 160m to 6m on SSB, CW and RTTY.

A team of 9 operators from North America is active as A35T from the island of Tonga until Feb. 28. QSLs are being handled by M-ZERO-URX (M0URX).

A number of stateside operators will be operating from Guantanamo Bay starting Friday, Feb. 19, through March 4. Look for the callsigns KG4BP, KG4EU, KG4HF, KG4HP and KG4WV.

In March, start looking for Don, VE7AQA, who will be calling as E51AQA from Raro- Tonga Island. He'll be on the air between March 4 to March 19, working holiday style on the HF bands using SSB. Send QSLs via VE7AQA.




And finally, looking at the noted Daytona 500 race on Sunday, Feb. 21 in Florida, let's keep in mind a few basic things: speed is good, awards are prestigious and pileups are very, very bad.

By the way, we're not talking about the race itself here - or even the racecar drivers - but the Special Event amateur radio station commemorating the 58th such race. The Daytona Beach Community Emergency Response Team Amateur Radio Team, N4DAB, took to the air with pride from Feb. 17 to be working right up through race day on Feb. 21. For the third such event, the club showed the same pride it's always had, whether providing backup communications during special events or helping out during natural disasters.

The club is still a month away from its next special event, activating the Canaveral National Seashore on Saturday, March 19, for National Parks On The Air. No, they're not quite ready to look skyward yet, because racecars and more terrestrial competitions are on their minds.

So this month, it's all about the phrase: "Gentlemen, start your engines." Or rather, "OMs and YLs, fire up your rigs." Yes speed does count - and those pileups should be avoided at all costs.



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; The Bryan-College Station Eagle; Central Coast Amateur Radio Club; The Chicago Tribune; Chicago Sun-Times; CQ Magazine; DX.NET; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; the Stillwater Amateur Radio Association, the Times of India; the Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ.COM., Southgate Amateur Radio News; TWiT TV; Wireless Institute of Australia; and you our listeners, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline. Our email address is 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 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline is Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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