Amateur Radio Newsline Report #2073 for Friday, July 21, 2017

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Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2073 with a release date of Friday, July 21, 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Remember Dayton Hamvention? We offer you a tour of Germany's Ham Radio Friedrichshafen. In Australia, a beacon is back in business -- and we talk to Brian Lloyd WB6RQN, who's been recreating Amelia Earhart's historic flight.All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2073 comes your way right now.




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with an update on an American pilot's tribute to famed flyer Amelia Earhart. Brian Lloyd WB6RQN was about to begin the final leg of his journey when he turned back recently to New Zealand where Kent Peterson KC0DGY was able to connect with him.

KENT'S REPORT: On June first Brian Lloyd WB6RQN departed Florida on a flight to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Amelia Earhart's famous attempt at circumnavigating the world.  I caught up with Brian for an update on his flight.

BRIAN Greetings from Hamilton NZ where its 10 degrees Celsius that is and it looks like another beautiful day.  I wish I were flying.

KENT That's right, Brian can explain why he's on the ground

BRIAN A couple days ago I departed from new Zealand heading to Pago Pago and got 50 miles north and my engine began to have problems I got the airplane turned around but the engine quit several times and it wasn't clear I was going to make it back and I stood a chance that I was going to go swimming.

KENT By adjusting the throttle the mixture control and the electric fuel pump Brian was able to make it back to New Zealand.

BRIAN   There were some moments there where I was a little concerned but it all turned out OK.

BRIAN It has been an amazing experience. I've gone through some 20 countries now.  Everyone everywhere  has been supportive and helpful . Everywhere I've gone either a ham or an aviation person has  put me up in their home, its just been great.

KENT Using his on board HF rig, Brian was able to make ham contacts during the first part of his flight.

BRIAN I'd say I've made a hundred or 150 contacts and there have been a lot of times when I've gone  out there and called and no one has responded. Its been a little hit and miss.  When I'm making contacts its a bit interesting on the receiving end of a pile up. That's not something  I"m used to.  I am not a big gun, I have wire antennas and 100 watts.  Flying an airplane with a note pad on your lap while taking down calls and writing down the time is a bit of a challenge. Not being a contester I can't run a contact in 6 seconds or 10 seconds. I just plug along taking each call as it comes until I have to do something else like fly the airplane or talk to air traffic control.

KENT But he had some problems with his HF radio and ended up getting the radio replaced so he's once again on the air and hopes to make ham contacts on his Pacific leg of the trip.

BRIAN If I can get the fuel pump fixed in the next three days there is a good chance I can make it to Oshkosh. Not on the first day but chances are good I can make it. The bottom line is safety security and schedule.  I do care if I"m able to safely and security complete this trip

BRIAN It's all about completing Amelia Earhart's flight and it would be nice icing on the cake if I can make it to Oshkosh but just completing it all is a significant achievement from my point of view.  I've had a a few road blocks thrown up but all I can do is put one foot in front of the the other and eventually I'll get to my destination and that 's my goal.

Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: When a group of DXers in the UK got a grant for ten thousand pounds - approximately 13,000 U.S. dollars - they didn't shout it from the rooftops - they shot it right up into space, via satellite. Here's Jeremy Boot G4NJH with that story.

JEREMY: The Bittern DXers have won big as recipients of a National Lottery grant in the UK. The grant they've received for ten thousand pounds is already earmarked for them to continue work on their Educational Outreach initiatives. The DXers make it a priority to teach the public about radio science and getting on the air by taking equipment to community events. Their radio demonstrations have enabled members of the public to listen in as the hams receive signals from weather satellites and even the International Space Station.

The North Norfolk-based DXers had a message of their own however, shortly after receiving the good news: They announced their big lottery gift by transmitting the announcement via the FunCube1 satellite. The FunCube1 has been in orbit since November of 2013 when it was launched by the ham radio community that also built it.

The Bittern DX group also celebrated by posting a message a little closer to Earth - on their website. That message says, in part: [QUOTE] "Our priorities are to get out in the field, to get on the air and to spread the word about amateur radio without the restraints of lectures and evening meetings. There are a number of very good clubs in Norfolk offering that kind of club environment and we work with them wherever possible." [ENDQUOTE] The group's message encourages anyone wanting the Bittern DXers to set up a station at their next event to contact them at info-at-bittern-hyphen-dxers-dot-org-dot-uk. (

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




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: If you want to take the pulse of HF propagation, you can't beat using a beacon -- but what happens when older hard-working beacons need refurbishing? Graham Kemp VK4BB tells us.

GRAHAM: Can you build a better beacon? The West Australian Repeater Group did, and now the international HF beacon, VK6RBP, is better than ever - or so it's hoped.

This is one of 18 beacons around the world that operates as part of the International Beacon project established as a propagation tool in 1995 by the Northern California DX Foundation. Time has passed, however, and with the equipment's advancing age, the repeaters have been growing less and less reliable.

Enter "Beacon Version 2.0," which completed its successful installation on Sunday the 9th of July, after a safe shipment from the California group to VK6. The rollout has begun! The beacon operates by transmitting CW in 10-second blocks across five bands, repeating the process every three minutes.

The West Australian group asks that amateurs listen for the beacon and send signal reports along. You can email secretary@warg-dot-org-dot-au ( Of course, if your QTH is right there in VK6, send your report by joining the group's technical and general net. They meet on Sundays at 02:30 UTC using the local VK6RLM repeater on 146.750 MHz.

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


Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the Silvercreek Amateur Radio Association's 2 meter repeater, W8WKY, Tuesdays at 7:30 PM local time in Doylestown, Ohio, celebrating their fortieth year as an amateur radio club.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We deliver our next report with a heavy heart as we report that Delbert Rapp WB9UKG of Vincennes Indiana has become a Silent Key. He is the father of Newsline's own Neil Rapp WB9VPG. We'll let Don Wilbanks AE5DW tells us about this devoted radio operator who served as his son's inspiration.

DON: Delbert Rapp's love of anything and everything electronic began in high school, where he was introduced to ham radio. He did not get his license right away, however. Instead, his studies led to a job after graduation with Thordarson Meissner in Mount Carmel, Illinois, a company that assembled and manufactured electronics parts. Delbert had also served as a field radio technician in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. Much later, a job at Good Samaritan hospital found him fixing radios, pagers, heart monitors and other devices as a staff biomedical electronic technician. It was his tinkering with an old Morse Code oscillator given to him by one of the doctors there that rekindled for Delbert the magic of the amateur radio world. He was soon studyiing for his license and took along his 5-year-old son, Neil, when it was time for the exam. The rest, as his son says, is history, as father and son gained their licenses together - with Neil becoming the nation's youngest ham, inspired by his father's faith and encouragement.

Delbert was a member of the Old Post Amateur Radio Society, the American Radio Relay League. He was also instrumental in starting the Good Samaritan Employees Investors Club. He was a Certified Electronic Technician, and an avid genealogist. He was an Extra class licensee and held a First Class Radiotelephone license as well. He spent a lot of his time helping with the local 2 meter repeater, and improving the station at his home QTH to be able to reach missionary friends in Africa.

Delbert Rapp WB9UKG died of acute leukemia. He was 84. We extend to our colleague and our friend Neil our sympathies on this profound loss.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Wilbanks AE5DW.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: So you didn't get to Ham Radio Friedrichshafen this year? It's one of the world's largest hamfests - not to be missed - and thanks to Ed Durrant DD5LP, we here at Newsline didn't miss it either. Sit back and listen for just a few minutes as Ed gives you a tour of the best of this year's event, which took place July 14th, 15th and 16th.

ED'S REPORT: In this report, I don't intend to give a list of the new equipment releases, I'd like to just bring a little bit of the sounds and my commentary of what I saw going on at this, the worlds third largest ham-fest after Tokyo and Dayton.

Being indoors the rain on Friday had no impact on the event. Indeed the only presentation outside was that of an example station for next years World Radio Team Championship and they have to be able to work in a little rain HI.

So here we go with my audio blog of HAM RADIO Friedrichshafen 2017.


The first shuttle bus has just arrived from the ferry so a few people are waiting to collect their tickets and get in, but it'll be another hour almost before they can do that. All are waiting to see what's new at Friedrichshafen.

And now we are inside the hall, got in very early so it's just as the people are coming in. I'm down at the end of the hall A-1 at the moment and looking at the DARC and WRTC2018 exhibits. There are still people setting up. As always at Friedrichshafen, we are amazed at the size of things.

It's now half past ten, the hall has filled up, as you can hear from the background noise, there are quite a few people walking around. There's work going on. I'm actually stood next to somebody who is embroidering t-Shirts and hats. Across from me is the Lupo tower site with the masts and the two young ladies in Japanese Kimonos. Looking across we have the Austrian radio amateur group to the left and behind them, the German one in the biggest space of course. Next to me is actually an English company, Total Mast solutions they've been here the last few years and they seem to be doing quite a lot of business a lot of people interested, they've got some special offers on some pneumatic towers here. I can see the Thailand Amateur radio Society, the YL groups and then all the other different societies around here so things are buzzing along. It's still Friday morning, it's still early in the event but everything's working. There's people walking around selling tombola tickets for the WRTC and generally lots of room between the stands and smiling faces or confused faces going past a mixture of the two. So I'll get on and see what else I can find, I've already spent some money � I've bought myself a mobile antenna and hopefully not spend too much more but who knows at this place?


Today we intend to have a look around the maker faire from the Bodensee group, so the regional Maker Faire here.

Well as you can hear, nobody would say that the maker faire was quiet. They've got a children's play area here, with cycling go-karts, that they cycle around. a beer garden of course and a play castle and they've even got a band up on a stage at the end here. These are actually robotic players, metal characters that they've built up, playing different things - quite crazy.

OK after that robotics show outside, we are inside and things have calmed down a little. Looking through the maker faire here, there are the things you expect electronics and modding of computers and such like but we've also got things like laser cutting, 3D printing and then we have quite a few people dressed up in sort of medieval like costumes walking around and there's also costume making here. There's jewelry making and all other kinds of crafts, so all very interesting. Parts and bits you need for making things are for sale as well so actually quite a parallel to the amateur radio side. Oh, there's actually somebody here with his mini-bakery baking fresh bread. We've also got the gardeners with their strimmers and then around the corner we're straight into the shalls and the belts and the jewelry, hats and a bit of everything that's like a crafty kind of thing here at the Bodensee makers faire. A nice refreshing expansion to the HAM RADIO.

OK so that was Friedrichshafen for another year. A successful visit. If any of you are thinking about getting over to Germany, see if you can time it with the HAM RADIO in Friedrichshafen. Next year it'll be June the first to the third but well worth the visit if you can get here.

What did I find of most interesting? Not the new ICOM IC-7610 which was there to actually touch and try although still awaiting some software changes before a rumored Tokyo ham show release date. Not the new Yaesu DR-2X repeater using it's new infrastructure technology. Not even all the displays around the World Radio Team Championship whose tombola raised over 19,000 Euros for the event. I'd have to say I found the robotic Rock Band at the Maker Faire on Sunday impressed me the most. It's really interesting what these maker groups are doing technically and that combining both the Hamfest and the regional maker faire into one event was a good idea.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, this was Ed Durrant DD5LP on-site at Ham Radio Friedrichshafen.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Our final story looks at what may well be the highest and best use of amateur radio - helping people in distress. One amateur radio club in India has begun serving the community under especially poignant circumstances: they are helping elderly men and women who've been abandoned to find their way back home. Jason Daniels VK2LAW has those details.

JASON: For amateur radio to help save lives, as it often does, sometimes even a transceiver and an antenna alone prove insufficient. In India, the best equipment for this task now comes in the form of something called an Aadhaar card. It's a government-issued card that uses the biometrics of fingerprints and iris scans to identify people, linking them as well to a unique 12-digit ID number.

The West Bengal Amateur Radio Club is finding that card even more useful than a linear amplifier or digital signal processor for their latest project - assisting the abandoned elderly. Media reports in India show that, tragically, such cases are on the rise in a nation of more than 90 million older adults.

Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA told the News 18 India newspaper that fingerprinting the elderly and finding a residential address in the records helps make reunions easier. The club has been assisting police with these reunions.

The West Bengal hams have helped bring about other reunions, including one earlier this year in which a 35-year-old woman who'd spent four years in a psychiatric hospital was returned to her family 900 miles away.

With abandonment of elderly family members on the rise however, Ambarish Nag Biswas said working with the police has proven especially satisfying work in helping bring the very oldest family members back home, often across state borders. He told News 18 India that two of the most memorable cases involved older women abandoned by their families two years earlier.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jason Daniels VK2LAW



NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; the Eastern Daily Press; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the Hindu newspaper; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; News 18 India; Ohio Penn DX Bulletin; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; the Times of India; 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

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 2017. All rights reserved.

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