Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2003, March 18, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline report number 2003 with a release date of Friday, March 18, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Hams step in to help during the Louisiana floods. In Maine, a historic radio-equipped schooner sails back into history. Hams in New Zealand and Australia prepare to go retro for ANZAC Day. And a capital city in South India may be getting its first repeater.  All this and more in Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2003 coming your way right now.

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Before we begin this week's report, we'd like to let you know that Amateur Radio Newsline is now accepting nominees for its 2016 Bill Pasternak Young Ham of the Year Award. We confer this annual honor on the best of the best: a young licensed radio amateur who has used ham radio for public service, benefitting his or her community, or who has impacted technological development affecting communications in some way. Nominees must reside in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico and be no older than 19.

Our judging committee will consider candidates who have made outstanding overall contributions — most especially in their public service work but also for experimentation in technology, science or electronic communication. The committee's decision is final.

For details on nomination requirements, and to download an application form, visit our website,, and click on the tab for "Y-H-O-T-Y." Completed forms and supporting documentation should be sent to: The Young Ham of the Year Award, in care of Amateur Radio Newsline Inc., Editorial Office, P.O. Box 451, Huntington Station, New York 11746.

The award is named in memory of the late Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, cofounder of Amateur Radio Newsline who, not surprisingly, was once an outstanding young ham himself, long before awards were given, growing up in Brooklyn, New York.

Again, the website address is, and click on the tab for Y-H-O-T-Y. Electronic filing will also be accepted. Send files in .PDF or .JPG format via email to Deadline for submissions is June 30, 2016.

And now, here's the latest for this week from our Amateur Radio Newsline team:


Already having been called up by two emergency activations in February, hams were ready to go to work once more in Louisiana after flooding overtook the area as a result of record-setting rains in early March. A tornado watch on March 8 led to a SKYWARN activation, as volunteers undertook weather-spotting and reporting over linked repeaters. Their reports not only covered Louisiana but parts of Arkansas and Texas.

Then, an ARES team in southeastern Louisiana also became active for nearly 2 days in response to heavy rain and flooding. ARES Region 9 DEC Bob Priez, WB5FBS, told the ARRL that by March 11, numerous waterways, streams and major rivers had advanced beyond the flood stage. But, he said, hams were able to successfully transmit and receive weather bulletins on local repeaters, and fixed stations made use of packet radio on VHF as well as email to communicate with the National Weather Service.

In all, the highest rainfall reported to the National Weather Service was just shy of 27 inches.




STEPHEN: The Louisiana flooding is just one example of hams in action. In Florida, the National Hurricane Conference has offered a special seminar to help hams be at their best when weather is at its worst. Even if some hams can't be at the conference in Orlando, they can still participate. We hear more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.

NEIL: The forecast for this year's National Hurricane Conference is anything but stormy - at least not for amateur radio operators. For those hams who can't be there in person at Florida's Hilton Orlando hotel, the next best thing is to attend the free sessions on Tuesday, March 22, via livestream.

The session opens at 1:30 p.m. with National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb, followed by a talk on hurricane meteorology by Bob Robichaud, VE1MBR, of the Canadian Hurricane Centre, and Julie Ripoll, WD4R, who is assistant coordinator at WX4NHC, the National Hurricane Center's amateur radio station.
The ARRL's assistant Emergency Preparedness Manager, Ken Bailey, K1FUG, will present a beginner's course in hurricane preparedness for hams.

But because even the best-prepared amateurs can't always be ready to also travel, the sessions are being recorded and will be uploaded to YouTube for viewing later.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.



The North American SSB Sprint is coming up fast -- well, what would you expect from something that's called a "sprint?"

So have your rigs ready on April 3 at 0000 UTC - locally that's April 2 -- for what's been called "the fastest four hours in Radiosport." The sprint's date was moved to the first weekend in April, following a schedule conflict with another popular RTTY sprint.

The committee asks hams planning to operate to fill out a form on the website indicating the planned activity. Visit




STEPHEN KINFORD: An old, well-traveled schooner in Maine is preparing to resume its journeys, and yes, those trips include a few ventures into ham radio history. Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun, WD9GCO, has that story.

PAUL BRAUN: The month of June can't come soon enough for the team members working to refurbish a 95-year-old schooner that once touched the heart, and the generosity of Hiram Percy Maxim himself, as well as those on the ARRL board.

Built in 1921 in East Boothbay, Maine as an Arctic explorer, the schooner Bowdoin was well-equipped with wireless communications when it set out on its travels during the Arctic Expedition of Donald B. MacMillan
in 1923. It later transported MacMillan, Richard Byrd and crew to Greenland in 1925.Maxim and the board not only provided radio support to the schooner's adventures but recruited an operator
-- Donald H. Mix, 1TS, of Bristol, Connecticut -- to come on board and transmit from the 100-watt, medium-wave rig. The equipment used by Mix had been custom designed by ARRL Board member M.B. West, who had it built by hams at the Zenith Electronics firm.

I spoke with Professor Donald Eley, K-B-ONE-V-J (KB1VJ), of the Department of Marine Transportation, about operating amateur radio from the sailing ship:


PAUL: The schooner's refurbishment is now being paid for by the Bowdoin Centennial Campaign. It is the official vessel of the State of Maine. And though its explorations are likely to be far more modest nearly a century after its first launching, the Bowdoin is nonetheless set to sail into its new life on June 1.

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



Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club, W2GSB, on Long Island, New York, on Monday nights, following the 7:30 p.m. Info Net on the club's 2-meter repeater.



A proposal to install a new amateur radio repeater in the capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, is giving local hams in southern India some hope. If local permission is granted, the repeater would be placed atop the Gunadala (GOONA-DALLA) Hill in the capital city, Amaravati (om-RAVA-tee). A district official has given an encouraging response to a request by Arza Ramesh Babu, coordinator of the district's Ham Radio Training Centre. Mr. Ramesh Babu told local officials the presence of such a repeater would facilitate creation of an emergency network of ham radio operators who would make use of the repeater with their handheld transceivers and serve the region.

Furthermore, he said, the repeater would also have the capability to communicate via EchoLink, over the Internet, giving it global reach. Mr. Ramesh Babu estimated that there are nearly 500 licensed radio amateurs who would make regular use of the repeater once it is operational. He told The Hindu newspaper - QUOTE - "If all goes well, this 'sunrise' state will soon transform into a hub of ham radio activity." ENDQUOTE



STEPHEN: ANZAC Day is a major public holiday for everyone in New Zealand and Australia, but hams observe it in a way that only radio operators could. Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp, VK4BB, has that story:

GRAHAM: Amateurs in New Zealand and Australia aren't being asked to suit up in military uniforms to help mark ANZAC Day, but they are being encouraged to participate in a military radio salute, nonetheless. They've been asked to work the bands using the same older modes once employed by radio operators in the military, and to do this on Monday, April 25, marking ANZAC Day. The solemn national holiday remembers those who died in 1915 in the fighting at Gallipoli.

The on-air observance, which is being encouraged by the Tableland Radio Group of Far North Queensland, would shift that day's radio operations from SSB to the AM mode and also encourage more CW operation.

The event's genesis is a conversation between Tableland's Mike Patterson, VK4MIK, a veteran of the Royal Australian Navy, and Lionel Veale, an ex-sergeant and former Australian Coast watcher who had used the old radios, ATR4A transceivers, during World War II.

The AM & CW event has become a popular annual ANZAC Day activity for the past couple of years, with many  amateurs from a number of clubs partipating using older, crystal-locked transceivers or former military radios. Keep in mind it's not a contest, but a tribute. And in peacetime, the operating strategy won't require any military maneuvers - just a bit of moving about to find a clear frequency.

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




Grant Bingeman, KM5KG, an influential designer and programmer who changed the shape of AM RF engineering, has become a Silent Key. The Plano, Texas amateur was an early developer of Method of Moments modeling of AM antenna systems, and wrote his own programs for ham radio applications and to do AM modeling.
A professional engineer, he was respected for his expertise in antenna couplers, network design and phasing systems for AM radio, along with computer control. A longtime colleague, Jack Sellmeyer, was quoted in one published article as saying that Bingeman had worked at Gates/Harris, Rockwell/Collins and later, the Rockwell/Collins' broadcast division that was acquired by Continental Electronics. Sellmeyer said industry consultants often relied heavily on his work for their phasor designs.

Bingeman, who died on Feb. 29, was 66.




The amateur community is also mourning the loss of Mary Ann Crider, WA3HUP, who for decades connected hams with other hams, quietly working behind the scenes as QSL manager for a number of DXers, including Jordan's King Hussein, JY1. She had also been manager of the W3 QSL Bureau.

The Air Force veteran had been a licensed amateur since 1967 when she was in the service.

The Pennsylvania amateur died March 12 at the age of 91.




In the world of DX, these are the last days to work Herbert DK2BR in Vietnam. He is operating holiday style from Con Son Island until March 26 with the callsign 3W2BR on 40m to 10m SSB, RTTY and PSK31. Send QSL cards direct to his home callsign.

Operators Helen RC5A and Yuri RM0F are going to Maldive Islands where they will be active as 8Q7CA and 8Q7FU, respectively, between April 17 and 30th. They will work 160-6 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via their home callsign, direct, by the Bureau or the OQRS on ClubLog.

Listen for Bill, K2HVN, working as 9Y/K2HVN on the Island of Tobago between April 14 and 26th. He will work 40 to 10 meters vacation style. Listen for him on SSB and in CW mode.QSL via his home callsign. Cards are already printed. He will not accept LoTW. See for info.

A number of teams will be working the CQWW WPX SSB Contest on March 27 and 27. They include members of the CT3 Team, active as CQ9T from Funchal, working as a Multi-Single/ Low-Power entry. QSL via CT3KN. Listen also for members of Amateur Radio Taipei, active from Taiwan as BP0P as a Multi-2 entry. QSL via BP0P. QSL also OK via Amateur Radio Taipei's QSL Service. And during the contest, be listening as well for Laurent, FM5BH, who will be active as TO972M from Martinique Island as a Single- Op/All-Band/High-Power entry. QSL TO972M via FM5BH direct.



STEPHEN: And finally, we close this week's report with a story of one woman's quietly triumphant act of service in World War II. Like so many others who helped break the Germans' code, no one was ever supposed to know about her, or even celebrate her efforts. Until now -- as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot, G4NJH.

JEREMY: Recognition was the last thing Theo Hopkinson would have wanted, or even asked for, 71 years ago, when she was working to help decode Nazi messages during World War II. In fact, she was part of a larger group of code-breakers who, similarly, vowed to keep as low a profile as possible while they worked at either Bletchley Park or Hanslope Park, intercepting messages from Germany.

Theo, who worked at Hanslope Park, is now 89 and the war is long since over. So when Theo recently intercepted something once again, it was quite public and clearly worded. It was, in fact, a long overdue thank you for her efforts which, like those of her colleagues, have been credited for helping shorten the war and save millions of lives.

On Friday, the 11 of March, Theo was among a small group of women now living in Canada who received the Bletchley Park Medal. It was presented by British Consul General Kevin McGurgan at the University Club in Toronto, Canada.

Mr McGurgan said: ItÕs good that now weÕre able to actually honor and acknowledge these people in a way that perhaps should have been a lot earlier.

And fortunately, there was absolutely no need to decipher the meaning there.



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to ABC.NET Australia; Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; DX.NET; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the Hindu newspaper; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; the Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QSL.NET; QRZ.COM., Southgate Amateur Radio News; The Toronto Sun; 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 Stephen Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio, saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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