Amateur Radio Newsline? Report 1384 February 20, 2004

Amateur Radio Newsline? Report 1384 February 20, 2004

Post by Radione » Sat, 28 Feb 2004 18:43:28

Amateur Radio Newsline? Report 1384  February 20,  2004

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1384 with a release date of Friday,
February 20, 2004 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.  

The following is a Q-S-T.

Reaction begins to the FCC on B-P-L, Hamvention will probably remain in Dayton
and restructuring continues around the world.  These stories and more coming
your way on Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1384, right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



The ARRL and many others in ham radio are not happy with last weeks FCC
decision to proceed with further implementation of Broadband Over Powerline,
and they are making their position known.  Amateur Radio Newslines Mark
Abramovich, NT3V, has been following developments and has more in this report:


To say American Radio Relay League President Jim Haynie W5JBP was disappointed
with the FCC's decision to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Broadband
Over Powerlines might be an understatement.

Haynie sat in on the FCC's Feb. 12 meeting in Washington, D.C. and admits he
was dumbfounded when many of the commissioners expressed e***ment about the
possibilities of BPL, ignoring interference concerns expressed by their
technical staff.

"To have Commissioner (Kathleen) Abernathy come out in her initial speech that
blew us away and her unbounded enthusiasm and then turn around at the hearing I
attended and listen to Commissioner (Jonathan) Adelstein allude to
unsubstantiated reports of interference and I was livid," Haynie says.

Haynie says the commissioners look more like cheerleaders for, than regulators
of, the communications industry.

"It just seems to me though that the commission has gone from a regulatory
agency to a Chamber of Commerce," Haynie says.  "Their eagerness to implement
this prior to the NTIA study rollout, which they actually have a letter from a
congressman asking them to wait, seemed to me it was put on the fast track and
try to beat the NTIA results."

Haynie says lots of what he heard about what's supposed to be in the NPRM does
not bode well for amateur radio. But he says there are some burdens on the
electric utilities.

"They put a lot of constraints on the BPL industry," Haynie explains. "They
have to react in real time, they have to be frequency agile. They have to have
public web sites, they've got to have somebody on duty 24-7 to mitigate
complaints of interference."

Ah, yes, interference. BPL proponents claim hams don't know what they're
talking about.

"I've heard reports of some of the BPL industry spokesman who flat deny that
there's a problem," Haynie says. "There never has been a problem, there can't
be a problem. "In several interviews I've done with the regular press it was:
'Okay, go down a buy you a short-wave receiver at Radio Shack. Go down there
and listen to it for yourself. I don't have to give you all these engineering
data, you can hear it for yourself.'

"The utilities, they are being hand-held very carefully by the BPL industry and
being told: "There's not a problem, there's not a problem.' "

Haynie says profit for the equipment manufacturers and the utilities is clearly
the motive for BPL.

"Any CEO worth his salt who's running a power company is going to try to figure
out more ways to get investment return for his investors," Haynie says. "He's
got a grid there and if these salesmen come in and tell him: 'Well look, you
know, we can bring you in an extra million dollars a day or million dollars a
week for your power grid and it's not going to cost you anything other than
just put these little devices on every quarter mile.' Why not?"

But Haynie says a recent Carnegie Mellon University study of the BPL business
model identifies pitfalls.

"It would take 17 years for the recovery of the initial investment," Haynie
says. "And that puzzled me until I read the article and it said because
broadband is dropping, DSL dial-up is getting cheaper every month.

"Deals are coming out, Verizon's fixin' to come out with some more stuff. The
old thing $30 a month is going to be high. And that's what BPL wants right now,
$30 for a residential, $50 for a business."

Haynie accuses proponents of deception proponents in "selling" the concept. He
says the claim it will finally connect rural areas of the country to high-speed
internet access is, well, hogwash!

"We know that what the BPL industry wants to do is pick the low-hanging fruit,
the high-density population areas," Haynie says. "But that's the selling point
they're using on the (Capitol) Hill. And that's the selling point they use with
the commission. I heard Chairman (Michael) Powell say that himself along with
several of the other commissioners.

"They have been sold this bill of goods. And if anybody would stop and think
about it, if it was such a good deal to serve five customers in a
four-square-mile area, the DSL and the cable people would be doing it now."

Haynie says he's seen and heard criticism of ARRL, much of it declaring the
League hasn't done enough to address the BPL threat.

"Let me assure you, we have done a lot, and we have talked to a lot of our
potential allies," Haynie says."We've had one, in-face meeting in Washington.
We do constant e-mails back and forth.

"But I am not going to, and the League is not going to, reveal all the things
we're working on because that would be ridiculous to show the hand to the
industry. Let them figure out what we're up to."

What can you do and where do Haynie and the League see this going? Tune in next
week for part two of our interview with Jim Haynie W5JBP.

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


Can radio services including ham radio survive with the level of interference
that many experts say BPL will create?  We will look into this in future
reports.  (ARNewsline (tm))



Meantime, the ARRL Awards Branch has discontinued three longtime awards
programs.  Gone are the Rag Chewer's Club, the Old Timer's Club and the
Friendship Awards.  

According to the ARRL Letter, the societys  Membership Services Manager
Wayne Mills, N7NG, says that the number of amateurs applying for awards in
general has declined significantly over the years, and interest in these three
awards had slowed to a trickle.  

Mills says that the awards programs eliminated had outlived their interest
level.  He adds that the cessation of the three awards is effective
immediately.  (ARRL)



More restructuring of ham radio is taking place around the world.  This, as a
set of new Amateur Radio regulations have been introduced in Denmark that make
the nation code-free.  Jeramy Boot, G4NJH, reports:


The Danish Information Technology and Telecom Agency has announced new
regulations for radio amateurs in Denmark. The main feature of the new
regulations is the elimination of the Morse code examination for access to the
HF bands. Danish radio amateurs are also now allowed to use parts of the
4-meter band without a special permit. These are: 70.0125 to 70.0625, 70.0875
to 70.1125, 70.3125 to 70.3875 and 70.4125 to 70.4875MHz. Beacons are allowed
in the 70.0125 to 70.0500MHz portion of the band. Detailed Danish 70MHz band
plans can be found on the Internet.  

Im G4NJH in Nottingham.

The new regulations came into effect on the 1st of February.  (GB2RS)



Croatia has become the first country in Region 1 to benefit from the expansion
of the 40-meter band agreed at the World Radio Conference in Switzerland last
summer.  9 A prefix amateurs have also been given privileges at 70 and 3400MHz
and now no longer have to pass a Morse code test for access to the HF bands.

New amateur radio regulations came into effect in Croatia on the 26th of
December but have only recently been announced to the world.  Since that date
Croatian amateurs have been permitted to  operate between 7100 and 7200
kilohertz on a Secondary basis, with a maximum power of 1000 watts P-E-P.  This
is in addition to the normal Region 1 allocation of 7000 to 7100 kilohertz.

On 4 meters, Croatian amateurs now have 70.000 to 70.450 MHz, with a power
limit of 10 watts.  They also gain a new band between 3400 and 3410 MHz, with a
maximum permitted power of 150 watts.

And like so many other nations, the Morse code requirement for an H-F band
access license has been dropped.  Under the new regulations and there are now
only two classes in Croatia.  They are the full license and a beginners'
ticket.  (GB2RS)


Break 1

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on
bulletin stations around the world Catalina Repeater  Association system
serving Los Angeles California from the island thats 26 miles across the

(5 sec pause here)



Hamvention will probably stay in the Dayton Ohio area.  This, according to the
events General Chairman Gary Des Combes, N8EMO.  In an interview with the
Rain Report, Des Combes says that Dayton is the Hamventions home:


Des Combes: My personal goal, and the goal of all of the volunteers is to
maintain the show in Dayton Ohio.  This is where it started and we would love
to have it stay here.  The plan we have no is to continue to go in that


How do planners intend to do this?  


Des Combes: What we need to do as a volunteer team is to work smarter,
harder and more efficiently.  Make the dollar squeal so that the cost to
the attendee and the flea-marketer and the exhibitors stay reasonable.


What about the rumors of a move away from Dayton?


Des Combes: There have been questions, quite frankly, from the exhibitors
and others about wanting to move to newer and nicer facilities, but there are
significant costs associated with that, and its our goal to keep this show a
volunteer show because -- quite frankly -- we can do it better and more
economically  than if we went to a larger venue.


Keeping the show in Dayton is only a small part of what Gary De Combes has to
say about Hamvention 2004.   Part one of the Rain interview with De Combes is
on-line right now at and on the phone at 847-827-7246.  Part
2 will be available on Friday, February 27th.  

Hamvention 2004 takes place May 14, 15 and 16th at its traditional home at the
Hara Arena in Dayton Ohio.  (ARNewsline (tm), RAIN)



Im Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, with a late breaking story.  Dateline Los Angeles
California where former ham Jack Gerritsen, the ex-KG6IRO is headed back to
court.  This time for a probation hearing and sentenceing on charges that he
tresspassed on a federal instalation.  Bur local hams haqve gotten themselves
involved in the sentencing proceedure and are trying to convince Judge Carolyn
Turchin of United States District Court to ban Gerritsen from owening or
operarating any transmitting equipment -- of any sort -- during his probation

This action appears to be a grass-roots effort by repeater owner operators all
across Southern California who believe that Gerritsen is responsible for
interference to their systems.  They are asking all of their users and other
hams  in the area to send a letter to Judge Turchin explaining the importance
of quashing any source of interference that could cause problems during
emergencies.  They also want to let the judge know all about Gerritsens past
record and have her order him to stay away from ham radio or any other two-way
service as a restriction of his probation.

Judge Turchin has set Monday, February 23rd for the hearing.  Will let you know
the outcome in next weeks Amateur Radio Newsline report.  (ARNewsline(tm))



The San Angelo Texas Planning Commission has approved a 40 foot Amateur Radio
tower for Santa Rita Elementary School.  San Angelo businessman, Kenneth
Gunther, W5ZJ, plans to donate the tower, a rotor, antenna's and radio
equipment to the educational institution. The radio gear and antenna system
will allow students to learn about telecommunications technology and earn their
ham radio licenses.

W5ZJ, is the owner of Gunter Wholesale Electric Company.  His donated tower
will be erected inside the courtyard of the elementary school's main building.
 Plans for the 40 foot tower passed 6-1 after a motion to allow a 50 foot tower
failed 4-3.  (San Angelo Standard Times, WB5T)



A Highlands Ranch, Colorado, *** appears to have done the right thing when he
found a Denver police radio on Monday the 16th.  Not sure what the unit was, he
used it to let the police force know he had it.  

The 13-year-old boy found the radio in the yard of a nearby home.  This, after
he saw it thrown from a sport utility vehicle.   The unidentified youngster
retrieved it, figured out how to turn it on and used the radio to tell a police
dispatcher that he had it.

Denver police and Douglas County sheriff's officials were working to retrieve
the radio.  Officials say that they hadn't been notified that a radio was
missing, and investigators were trying to determine who it belonged to.  They
are also looking into how this radio got out of the City and County of Denver.

The complete story is on-line at,1299,DRMN_15_2660662,00.html  (Rocky
Mountain News, CGC)



Drivers are distracted 16.1 percent of the time their vehicles were moving and
cellphones nor two-way radio is not the main culprit.  This, according to a
study conducted by the auto club and researchers at the University of North

The investigation tracked 70 drivers from North Carolina and Pennsylvania.  It
found that Cellular telephones were not the major distraction.  In fact only 30
percent of the subjects used a cell phone while their vehicle was moving
compared with 97 percent who leaned over to reach for something and 91 percent
who fiddled with the controls on their cars entertainment system.

The study found all drivers fiddle with their radios or engage in other
distracting behavior.  This, even when they're being watched as part of a study
on distracted drivers.  (Science OnLine)



Turning to ham radio business, Creative Services Software has announced that
version 3.0 of Pacterm for Windows and P K term for Windows will be released
later this year.  Version 3.0 not only includes new sound card modes, but also
an integrated logging program to keep track of QSOs, DXCC and even do light
contesting. It will also support exporting to ADIF for use with the ARRL
Logbook of the World and to other logging programs, provide radio and rotor
control, and be able to sync with Packet Clusters that are connected by the
Packet window. More information on Creative Services Software products can be
found at  (CSS via VHF Reflector)



The Consumer Electronics Association -- better known by the initials CES  --
says that the wholesale electronics market in 2004 is likely to grow to 100
point 99 billion dollars in sales.  Thats up 5 percent over 2003 and a major
improvement over three years of negative or minimal growth.

CES is a trade group representing audio, video and mobile electronics makers.
It says that the  U.S. consumer electronics market is seeing a sharp growth in
video products, which has helped to  offset the decline in stand-alone audio
products and in-car consumer electronics.  Sales of new technologies such as
plasma television screens were expected to generate nearly $1.5 billion in
revenues for 2003, nearly tripling from $515 million just one year earlier.
Growth in consumer electronics last peaked in 2000, when sales rose 12.7
percent to $96.37 billion over 1999.  (Adapted from CES release)



This is ham radio news for todays 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:

(5 sec pause here)



Some sad news to report  QCWA President Emeritus  Leland Smith, W5KL, has
become a Silent Key.  According to QCWA webmaster Bob Roske, N0UF, Smith passed
away in his sleep the evening of February 15th.  

In addition to being President Emeritus of QCWA, Smith served as Chairman of
the organizations Scholarship Committee, was President of The Old-Old Timers
Club and a member of The Society Of Wireless Pioneers.  (QCWA)



And word that Radio Society of Great Britain past president Geoff Stone, G3FZL,
has also become a Silent Key.  This following a long illness.  

Stone served as the Society's President in 1964.  The RSGB described him as a
loyal servant of the Society, serving on Council and numerous boards including
the VHF Committee.  His funeral took place at on Wednesday, February 11th in
South London.  (RSGB)



AMSAT says that it urgently needs to raise $110,000 to help defray the launch
of the Echo ham radio satellite.  The bird is scheduled to ride into orbit thus
coming June 29th, and the money has to be raided well before that date.

AMSAT like Amateur Radio Newsline is a federally recognized tax exempt
501(c)(3) organization, and your donation should be tax deductible in the
United States.  Information on how to support the Echo launch and other ham
radio in space projects is on the web at  (AMSAT-NA)



Meantime, theres a big anniversary coming up for ham radio space operations.
 March 1st marks the 20th anniversary of the UO11  ham radio satellite
on-orbit.  We have more in this report:


On the 1st March the UO-11 ham radio satellite, which is also known as UOSAT 2
will have been in space for two decades.  To mark the event, AMSAT-UK will be
issuing a commemorative QSL card in exchange for listener reports from stations
hearing the signals during the month of March.  The reports must be made by way
of the reporting page on the web site and the QSL card will be in the form of a
downloadable "E-QSL".

By way of background, UO-11 was the second satellite to be launched by Martin
Sweeting, G3YJO's, group at the University of Surrey in here in England.  Its
telemetry beacon can still be heard on 145.825 MHz FM using nothing more than a
handheld 2 meter rig. There is also a 2401.5 MHz beacon but signal is not very
strong and represents quite a challenge.

Depending on the status of the satellite, it sometimes goes into 'safe' mode,
and the beacon transmitters are not activate for days at a time.  Because of
this, University of Surrey ground station controllers will attempt to maximise
the number of days the transmitters are active during the month of March.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Rick Johnson, KA9VZD reporting.


An article and pictures about U O11 and the rules for filing reports are
available on the AMSAT-UK website.  Its in ***space at



Using radio telescopes on Earth and another optical scope in space, a team of
astrophysicists says it's detected a tiny galaxy that is the farthest known
object from Earth. California Institute of Technology astronomer Richard Ellis
says the galaxy is roughly 13 billion light-years from Earth.  According to
Science On Line, an expert at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
in Massachusetts says the discovery gives a rare glimpse of the time when the
first stars and galaxies began to emerge.   (Science OnLine)



Hagal International reports that the Israel Amateur Radio Club has donated a 2
meter repeater to Albanias amateur radio society.  Hopefully, by the time
you read this it will be up and running in Tirana, which is Albanias capital
city.  (Hagal International)



Turning to the contest calendar, "The Skirmish" - thats the Troy Amateur
Radio Associations digital prefix contest, will be held on April 17.
Categories include PSK31, PSK63, MFSK, RTTY, Packet, ASCII, SSTV and others
with activity on 160 through 6 meters excluding the Warc bands.  You can find
additional information at   (Via E-Mail)



Steve Kerns, N3FTI, says he will be on the island of Providenciales, Grid
Square  FL31 in the Turks & Caicos chain for this years ARRL World Wide DX
Contest.  During the contest, his group consisting of WE3C, KQ3V and himself
will be active as VQ5A.   This is the first time to Steves knowledge this
prefix has been activated from the Turks and Caicos and the first time this
prefix has been used by any station.  During non-contest times listen for Steve
operating as VP5 stroke N3FTI.  

This contest runs for 48 hours from zero hours UTC on Saturday the 21st of
February on all the contest bands between 160 and 10 meters.  For more
information the VQ5A operation,  check on the world-wide-web
(VHF Reflector)



In D-X, word that LZ1ZF is celebrating his 35th anniversary of being on the
amateur radio bands with the special callsign L35ZF.  He is active on all bands
and modes. until the 31st of December.

Also, SM0CCM will be active as J73CCM from Dominica through the 4th of March.
He will operate on 160 to 6 meters mostly CW, with some RTTY and PSK 31.  QSL
as directed on the air.

And word that JA2EZD will be traveling in Vietnam and Cambodia through the end
of the month.  He plans to operate using the calls 3W2B and XU7AAA.  Again, QSL
as directed on the air.

And QSL Manager Jos of Jesus Moura Costa, PS8ET tells Amateur Radio Newsline
that he has relocated.  His new address is Q-25 C-17 Parque Piau   Teresina,
PI. 64.025-100 Brazil South Amrica  

Lastly, 4X4SIX is an Israeli 6 meter beacon operating on 50.080 MHz.  The team
of 4X6ON and 4Z5AY built the 5 watt station which announces its call sign
around the clock in Morse using a J-Pole antenna.

(Above from various DX sources)



And finally this week, the story of a long walk thats taking ham radio with
it.  Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF reports:


Tony Whitaker, G3RKL, from Sheffield, in the United Kingdom is off to New
Zealand for a short walk.  Well not exactly a short walk.  More like 750 miles
as Whitaker treks from Invercargill to Blenheim, along State Highway 6 up the
West Coast of the South Island.  And he will operate an Amateur Radio station
along the way.  

Whitaker will be on the air using the special callsign ZL6SHS on H-F, V-H-F and
U-H-F while actually walking.  He also plans to use F-M simplex, Echolink and
I-R-L-P Internet-linked repeaters in places where they are available.  He will
use them to keep in touch with his ham radio friends back home in the U-K.

Whitakers marathon walk starts in Invercargill on the 21st of February.  If
all goes to plan he is scheduled to arrive in Blenheim on the 8th of April --
probably a bit tired -- but very satisfied.  We will keep you posted on his

For the Amateur Radio Newsline down-under, Im Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF.


This is not Whitakers***long ham radio walk.  He has already made seven
others including one in Australia.  (GB2RS)



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 and
Australia's Q-News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline(tm).  Our e-mail

Radio Newsline's(tm) only official website located at  You
can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline(tm), P.O. Box
660937, Arcadia, California 91066.

A reminder that the newly created Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio Mentoring
Project is up and operating.  We already have signed up over two dozen hams who
are willing to assist others.  If you can help, or if you need assistance
please drop a note with your name, address, hone number and area of expertise

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, Im Don Wilb anks,
AE5DW, in New Orleans saying 73, Happy Mardi Gras and we thank you for
listening."  Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2004.  All rights