Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2012, May 20, 2016

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Amateur Radio Newsline report number 2012 with a release date of Friday, May 20, 2016 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  One of SATERN's founders becomes a Silent Key. A veteran ham's Dayton Dreams. National Parks on the Air from down under ... the bridge! And a sad goodbye to a tireless promoter of amateur radio.  All this and more in Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2012 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here and Intro)



JIM/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with news that hams throughout the Salvation Army's international emergency response network known as SATERN, are grieving the loss of one of SATERN's founding fathers, Maj. Patrick E. McPherson, WW9E. Here's Paul Braun, WD9GCO.

PAUL: Maj. Patrick E. McPherson, WW9E, who cofounded the disaster response and relief arm of the Salvation Army has become a Silent Key. SATERN, or the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, began in 1988 as a project McPherson undertook with three other radio amateurs. It has long since grown to be an international emergency communication and assistance organization, and an official program of the Salvation Army.

In fact, barely two months after its creation, SATERN already secured a prominent place on the disaster-assistance map by facilitating communications between Jamaica and the United States during 1988's Hurricane Gilbert.

McPherson had been SATERN's director for more than 23 years, leaving the post only 5 years ago. He died on May 14 in St. Joseph, Michigan. His legacy continues, however: The SATERN Net meets weekdays on 14.265 MHz at 1500 UTC. McPherson is also slated for a posthumous honor: He will be given the Salvation Army Certificate in Recognition of Exceptional Service — a national-level award he was scheduled to have been presented with later this year.

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

JIM/ANCHOR: SATERN has grown to have a global presence in North America, Asia, the Caribbean and elsewhere. McPherson's reach has not only touched the world, but influenced his own family. We should note that his wife, Carmella, is also a ham, with the call sign KB9YSQ, as is his brother Larry, call sign KA0QEO. Maj. Patrick E. McPherson was 70 years old.




JIM/ANCHOR: Our next story follows up on a recent special event station operating as part of the year-long National Parks on the Air celebration. This one was set up in West Virginia and I'm happy to say I was a part of it. But I did take time out to file this report for Amateur Radio Newsline.

JIM'S REPORT: The National Parks on the Air Special Event Station under the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia on Saturday, May 15, was a great success. Ten hams were part of this unique event, using the West Virginia DX Association call W8AH. I was privileged to be one of the operators and took time out to talk to event organizer Randy Damron, N8XEA.

RANDY: (N8XEA Sound Bite)—Well, today we’re known as amateur radio trolls, because we are indeed under the bridge!  It’s been a great day for us.  It all started with an idea back in December.  I happened to catch the ARRL website about promoting the partnership with the National Park Service 100th anniversary, and they were encouraging amateur radio operators to pick their favorite national park.  In West Virginia, we have two—one up in the panhandle and, of course, the New River Gorge National River….and over the New River Gorge National River is the New River Gorge Bridge that is 3036 feet long and the middle of the arch is 876 feet off the river.  It’s a very unique structure.  We’re very proud of it here in the state.  It’s also featured on our state quarter.  It seemed to make sense not just to be under the bridge for our station—but the unique thing about our station today is that we’re suspending two end-fed antennas under the catwalk of the bridge.  That makes us pretty unique.  We’re running 20 meters, 40 meters…we’re also running VHF on two meters, and we’ve had some six meter contacts as well.

JIM: Randy says over 300 contacts were made during the six-hour event -- a successful day, in spite of the wind, rain and cold!

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




JIM/ANCHOR: Meanwhile, hams in the UK had high expectations for the recent 40 meter Counties Contest. But the forces of nature had other plans. We hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot, G4NJH.

JEREMY: Amateurs in Ireland had been hopeful for good scores in the 40 meter Counties Contest held on 8 May by the Irish Radio Transmitters Society. But a geomagnetic storm that hit earlier that morning changed everything. During the three-hour period of contesting, hams struggled, especially the ones operating EI and GI stations. And the valuable contest multipliers suffered as they worked for contacts with one another.

There were better results with signals from overseas stations however - and those contacts did improve toward the final hour. But organizers report that, in the week following the contest, submission of contact logs was sparse. The IRTS urges all hams who participated to submit their logs by the deadline of Sunday 22 May. Yes, even logs with limited results.

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




JIM: Amateur Radio has gone the distance for 76 of his nearly 94 years, and that's partly what's sending Arthur Kunst, W3WM, from his Pennsylvania shack back to Ohio this year for yet another Dayton Hamvention. Shortly before making the trip with his son, Don, W3LNE, he spoke with Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun, WD9GC0.

PAUL: Ever wonder what it was like in the old days of Amateur Radio? Arthur Kunst, W3WM, was actually there in those days! Arthur was first licensed in 1939 and has remained active as a ham all through the years. In fact, as he approaches 94 years old, he's getting ready for another trip to Dayton.

ARTHUR: I've been interested in Dayton for a long time. So I've had the opportunity to go there, in fact, I've probably been there at least 20 times. I can tell you that on one occasion, my wife, who always went with me, went with a ladies' group to keep herself interested and happy, and she won the Grand Prize for the ladies in that particular year. It was a big outdoor roadshow-type thing. And we had difficulty bringing it back in the automobile. I've been a longtime member of QCWA, and in one of the chapters in Florida I learned we had we had one of the original founders of the Dayton hamfest. And he would tell us about how it all got started a long time ago. He said initially it was a very small thing, a small concept, a local type of a thing, and he said they would make all the plans around the kitchen table. And that was all that was necessary to do in those days. Well, it grew and grew and grew and the kitchen table did not suffice anymore.

PAUL: Amateur radio has always been a family affair for Kunst.

ARTHUR: My wife is involved, my grandson is involved, my son, who is W3LNE, which is a call sign I had about 50 years ago before I became a two-letter call, and a brother of mine was a radio amateur. And so we have had amateur radio disease running through our family for many years.

PAUL: And he certainly hasn't let technology pass him by. He was an electrical engineer by profession - and that kept him experimenting with radio!

ARTHUR: I'm very interested in the newer technologies, all modes of communication, simple devices compared to the devices we had a long time ago -- or it was impossible to appreciate them a long time ago. 

PAUL: Arthur Kunst is a ham with a fascinating story to tell and a lifelong fascination with amateur radio. We can all hope that we're still going strong when we turn 94. 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 WR9ARC repeater of the Riverland Amateur Radio Club in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on Sundays.



JIM/ANCHOR: The Australian hams who spent part of Easter weekend on the banks of the Burnett River in Queensland weren't there for a day of operating outdoors. They had come in search of something even more adventurous. John Williams, VK4JJW, explains:

JOHN: For the radio amateurs in central Queensland, Australia, it was a once-in-a-lifetime gathering. Well actually, for some, it was a TWICE-in-a-lifetime gathering because most reunions are that, at the very least. And this was a 50-year reunion of hams and friends and family. It took place at Ceratodus, on the banks of the Burnett River near Eidsvold, the meeting point of 5 decades ago. As before, it happened on Easter weekend, and it was a time for eyeball  QSOs, camping and fellowship.

Geoff Bonney, VK4GI, who was there at the first gathering, told Amateur Radio Newsline he was in good company at the reunion weekend: There was Dave Maclean, VK4EE, and Kev Blanch, VK4MKB. And lots of first-timers who perhaps have a 50-year reunion in their own future someday. Bonney declared the gathering to be QUOTE "fantastic." ENDQUOTE

Ultimately, the weekend, which marked the enduring bonds people forge from being on the air together, turned out to be more of a terrestrial celebration. Bonney said most of the on-air activity took place at 7.060 MHz and 146.500 MHz for reunion attendees enroute the reserve - and on their way back home.

He said QUOTE "when all participants arrived, face-to-face conversation quickly took over." ENDQUOTE

But with all the changes in the last 5 decades - from SSB outpacing AM in popularity, to changes in Australia's Foundation License - it left little doubt as to what all the conversation was about.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, this is John Williams, VK4JJW.



The exercise held by the Ellis County Amateur Radio Club, WD5DDH, wasn't just a simulated search-and rescue session. It was a real-life question-and-answer session too.

Working with the Ellis County Amateur Radio Emergency Services group, hams deployed microwave, mobile and WinLink modes throughout the Texas county, simulating search and rescue, along with damage assessment. Hams also got answers to their questions about how things are done, and learned the drill. The Dallas-area radio club and the Ellis County ARES are close partners, working together in emergencies and simulations, such as this one in late April. The amateur radio club is also interested in learning more about the use of search dogs in a crisis. They have been receiving an introduction to this phase of search and rescue work by local businessman Jerry Seevers.

The club meets in Waxahatchie at 7:30 p.m. every third Thursday of the month at the Sheriff's office training center.



John, W5JON/V47JA, will be active from Calypso Bay, St. Kitts as V47JA from June 14 to July 15. He will work 160-6 meters, including 60m, using SSB. He will also be a Single Op/All band entry during the IARU HF World Championship Contest on July 9th and 10th. Send QSL cards to W5JON direct or via LoTW. He is not accepting bureau QSLs.

Merv N6NO is using the call sign VK9OL while working from Lord Howe Island. He will be there through May 29. He is using mainly CW and focusing on the WARC bands. QSL direct to N6NO.

Look for Phil, TN2MP and Joe TN2BJ, operating from the Congo, considered a semi-rare DX. They will be operating there until May 23. QSLs go via F5MVB and F5AOW respectively.

On May 28 and May 29, be listening for members of the Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club, working from the Marble Arch Caves Geopark in County Fermanagh, Ireland to celebrate European Geoparks Week. They will be using the call sign GB2MAC and operating SSB on all the HF bands. Send QSL cards via LoTW, eQSL and Bureau.




JIM: Finally, we say a sad goodbye to a tireless promoter of amateur radio, an Emmy award winning filmmaker and  close friend and supporter of Amateur Radio Newsline. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks, AE5DW.

DON: Dave Bell, W6AQ, passed away Friday, May 13th.  He was 84.  A ham for 65 years, Dave was a filmmaker and television producer.  He is known in entertainment circles for his work producing TV movies, specials and documentaries for all of the broadcast networks including cable giants USA Network, HBO and Showtime.  He even made a couple of feature films – "Nadia" and "The Long Walk Home."  His documentary series, “Missing… Have You Seen this Person?” was nominated for an Emmy and became the basis for the legendary NBC series “Unsolved Mysteries.”  His CBS production of “Do You Remember Love” starring JoAnn Woodward and Richard Kiley won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama/comedy Special in 1985.  The list goes on and on.  So prolific was Dave Bell’s work, it’s been said that anyone over 50 who has worked in reality TV at some point worked for or with Dave Bell.  But we remember Dave not as a television executive but as W6AQ.  And before he got rolling in entertainment films in the ‘80s, he was making documentaries about amateur radio as far back as the late '50s.  His first ham radio film was “The Ham’s Wide World."

Here’s Dave Bell:
“The Ham’s Wide World" featured several major celebrities who were big-time hams. If you know these names you qualify for the Old Old Timer’s Club.  Arthur Godfrey, K4LIB, Bill Leonard, W2SKE and Barry Goldwater, K7UGA.”

He recruited some major star power for “The World Of Amateur Radio."

[Dick Van Dyke audio]

In 2002, he produced “Amateur Radio Today” featuring an iconic voice of a generation as the host:

[Walter Cronkite audio]

One of the voices you heard in that clip was Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, Newsline’s founder. Bill and Dave worked together for decades on those ARRL films. They were more than colleagues, they were the best of friends. Dave Bell was a supporter of our Young Ham Of The Year award, purchasing the plaque for the winner. I had the great fortune of presenting Dave Bell and a retrospective of those films at the 2014 Dayton Hamvention. I was awestruck, something that never happens to me.  Dave was just as gracious as he could be and we had a fantastic time that I will treasure for the rest of my days.

Dave Bell is survived by Alice, better known as Sam, his wife of 61 years, her call is W6QLT.

Dave Bell’s legacy will live on in these films.  I encourage you to visit and learn more about these films. They’re all available for purchase from the league.
Remembering our good friend Dave Bell, W6AQ, I’m Don Wilbanks, AE5DW.


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Dayton Daily News; Don Kunst, W3LNE; DX.NET; Geoff Bonney, VK4GI; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Irish Radio Transmitter Society; SATERN; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; Waxahatchie, Texas Daily Light; West Virginia DX Association; Wireless Institute of Australia; 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

We also remind our listeners that there's still time to nominate candidates for the 2016 Bill Pasternak Young Ham of the Year Award. This honor recognizes licensed amateurs who are no older than 19 and living in the U.S., Puerto Rico or Canada, and who have made significant contributions to ham radio and their community. To download an application form, visit our website,, and click on the tab for "Y-H-O-T-Y." Completed applications 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.

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(tm) is Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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