Welcome to Ham Radio's only Free R-Rated Daily Newsletter

MONDAY  EDITION: You might enjoy this.....Glad I wan not on this roller coaster....a little freaky, she needs a hobby like ham radio, or maybe the new MFJ lady at hamfests.....Amazon is testing its drone delivery service at a secret site in Canada, following repeated warnings by the e-commerce giant that it would go outside the US to bypass what it sees as the US federal government’s lethargic approach to the new technology. The largest internet retailer in the world is keeping the location of its new test site closely guarded. What can be revealed is that the company’s formidable team of roboticists, software engineers, aeronautics experts and pioneers in remote sensing – including a former Nasa astronaut and the designer of the wingtip of the Boeing 787 – are now operating in British Columbia.

Getting started with the FM Satellites

AMSAT's Director of Field Operations, Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK says the FieldOps team is working to make how-to-operate-satellites information readily available on the web.

Based on a hamfest handout designed and written by Patrick, "Getting Started with the FM Satellites", is available for download.

Patrick shows the basic equipment and techniques to learn successful operating on the satellites. This guide also gives specific information on how to operate via SO-50, the only currently available FM satellite at the moment.

Patrick's guide is posted at:

http://www.amsat.org.  --> Satellite Info --> Station and Operating Hints.

The direct link is http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=2144..where you'll find the link "Operating FM Satellites" (and a link to the Spanish version also).

Kigali short wave relay to close

Deutsche Welle is shutting down its relay station at Kigali in Rwanda. Established in 1965 it is the broadcaster's last short wave relay

When the relay station first started transmitting in 1965, it was about 15 km from the city center. Kigali has grown in the meantime and the station now finds itself in the suburbs. The plot of land on which the station stands has skyrocketed in value. But the price of real estate was just one issue Guido Baumhauer, Deutsche Welle's director of distribution, was forced to face when negotiating with the Rwandan government.

"Even if we wanted to stay, we couldn't because our contract with the Rwandan government is expiring and they do not wish to renew it," he said.

Read the full Deutsche Welle story at
http://www.dw.de/deutsche-welle-closes-kigali-outpost/a-18340960

A new light bulb that's made using graphene will go on sale later this year, according to its developers—and it's said to be the first commercially viable consumer product to use the supermaterial.

The new bulb—developed by researchers at Manchester University where the material was discovered—uses a filament-shaped LED which is coated in graphene. The bulb, which is dimmable, is said to provide a brighter light than conventional LEDs, use up to 10 percent less energy and last longer, too. The Financial Times reports that the bulb could cost less than $20 when it goes on sale.

The bulb has been developed by a company called Graphene Lighting—of which Prof Colin Bailey, deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Manchester, is a director. "People are amazed at just how quickly we have managed to take it to market," Bailey told the Financial Times. "Sometimes it takes 20 years to get a new discovery out there."

The UK's National Graphene Institute, situated at Manchester University and where Bailey is now based, was opened earlier this month. In a press release, Bailey explained:


This lightbulb shows that graphene products are becoming a reality, just a little more than a decade after it was first isolated – a very short time in scientific terms. This is just the start. Our partners are looking at a range of exciting applications, all of which started right here in Manchester.

It's still difficult to make graphene in large qualities, which make items that use it in bulk incredibly expensive. This new lightbulb uses a small quanitiy, making it economcial to produce. Exact technical details about the bulb remain under wraps, but the team behind it suggest that it will be one sale by the end of the year.
 

WEEKEND  EDITION: Hamfest in Lewiston, Maine Friday and Saturday.....Learn how to use your MFJ analyzer...Squid-Inspired Tape Could Help Camouflage Soldiers......How does the human body respond to long-duration spaceflight? Does radiation present a problem? How about long periods of weightlessness? And what about the isolation? ......


PROPAGATION: SUN FIRES OFF ANOTHER SOLAR FLARE AND CME Space Weather reports March 15th began with a solar bang. Between 00:45 and 02:00 UTC , a magnetic filament erupted in concert with a slow C9-class solar flare from sunspot AR- 2297 that hurled a Coronal Mass Ejection or C-M-E into space. At that time, modeling by analysts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested that the cloud would deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of March 17. They also estimated there would be a 50% chance of geomagnetic storms when the C- M-E arrived. But they were in for quite a surprise. A severe solar storm smacked Earth with a surprisingly big geomagnetic jolt on Tuesday, March 17th. Two blasts of magnetic plasma that left the sun separately combined and arrived on Earth about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expected. Forecasters figured it would come late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Instead it arrived just before 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This storm ranked a 4 on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 1-to-5 scale for geomagnetic effects. It is the strongest solar storm to blast Earth since the fall of 2013. It's been nearly a decade since a level 5 storm, termed extreme, has hit Earth. It had forecast it to arrive at a level 1. (NOAA, Space Weather) **

RESCUE RADIO: CYLONE PAM DEVISTATES VANUATU Packing winds of close to 200 miles an hour, Category 5 Cyclone Pam caused severe damage when it hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu on March 13th. Vanuatu 's government declared a nationwide state of emergency, and Australia and New Zealand were among the first to send in relief supplies. The cyclone tore apart the infrastructure of Vanuatu 's 12 inhabited islands, and all but isolated it from the world. And as far as we have been able to determine, this was a case where not even amateur radio could fill in the communications gap. Mainly because there are very few resident hams living there; nor does there seem to be an established emergency calling frequency on any of the amateur bands. About the closest thing to a ham radio response frequency might be the Pacific Maritime net on 14.300 MHz, but what assistance if any was provided by this group is unknown as we go to air. Nor is it known if the non-ham-radio Vanuatu Net, which operates daily at 20:30 U-T-C during cruising season on 8.230 MHz was activated. The restoration of communications with Vanuatu required first responders from other nations arriving with their own communications gear, primarily satellite telephones. It was only then that the full extent of the devastation that Cyclone Pam caused to Vanuatu was made known to the world. Amateur radio likes to claim that its there when all other means of communications have failed. But in this case, there were simply no hams on Vanuatu to respond. (Published news reports and postings on QRZ.com) **

RESCUE RADIO: INITIAL PLANS FOR GAREC 2015 ANNOUNCED The 2015 Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference better known as GAREC 2015 will take place June 23rd and 24th in Tampere, Finland . This year's event is being hosted by the Finnish Amateur Radio League and is being organized by Finland 's national emergency communications society the SRT. The theme is cooperating with Authorities. Already announced as a part of the program is International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Emergency Communications Coordinator, Greg Mossop G-zero-DUB. He will chair a discussion on the theme of what amateur radio has done to cooperate with authorities when called upon to do so. Program Committee Chairman Dr. Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR will review GAREC from 2005 to 2015 in relation to non-government emergency relief agencies. Reports will also be provided by representatives of International Amateur Radio Union regions 1, 2 and 3, in a session chaired by SRT president Jyri Putkonen, OH7JP. This year's gathering is kind of a home-coming for the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference. This is because it was in Tampere, Finland, that the first such conference was held back in 2005. More information on this year's gathering is available at radioturva.fi/garec-2015 (IARU Region 1) **

WORLDBEAT: SARL TO ASSIST IN LICNSING OF HAMS IN ZAMBIA The South African Radio League will assist the Radio Society of Zambia with the licensing of amateurs in that country. In accordance with the requirements of the International Telecommunications Union, the Zambian authorities require what is known as a Harmonized Amateur Radio Examination Certificate before issuing a license. In the past this certificate was provided by the United Kingdom's City and Guilds organization after Zambian candidates passed its amateur exam but this arrangement is no longer in place. So the Radio Society of Zambia approached the South African Radio League to conclude an understanding whereby the Zambian candidates can instead take the South African examination. Under the new agreement, Zambian amateur radio candidates will be tested for the South African examination. For this purpose, a South African Radio League examination center will be registered in Zambia . The Radio Society of Zambia will provide the venue, test personnel, security arrangements and cover all costs. On completion of a test session the answer sheets will be returned to South Africa and will be marked, after which any Harmonized Amateur Radio Examination Certificates will be couriered to the Radio Society of Zambia for those candidates who pass. Zambian authorities have already agreed to accept the certificates issued by the South African Radio League. This arrangement is similar to one that the South African Radio League already has in place with Namibian Amateur Radio League. (SARL) **

 ENFORCEMENT: FCC FIELD OFFICE DOWNSIZING CONFIRMED The Federal Communications Commission is considering the downsizing its EnforcementBureau and Field Office operations. In a very governmental sounding reply, an FCC spokesperson responded to an inquiry from the on-line publication Radio Ink regarding the rumor of downsizing in the field operations. To quote the response: "The Commission recently completed a thorough, data-driven review of our field programs with an eye toward improving efficiency while meeting our responsibilities both today and in the future. The commissioners are considering a proposal that meets these goals." In its report, the ARRL went further. According to an internal March 10th FCC Enforcement Bureau memorandum obtained by the League, the Bureau plans to ask the full Commission to cut two-thirds of its field offices and eliminate nearly one-half of its field agents. Under its "Phase I" field modernization scheme, the Bureau will recommend to the full Commission that it adjust the primary focus of its reduced field office complement to RF spectrum enforcement. It will also recommend "adjusting" the number of field agents from 63 to 33. At the same time, the Bureau would develop a so-called "Tiger Team" of field agents as a flexible strike force it could deploy as needed. The ARRL's Dave Sumner noted that the League is concerned that there is already no sense of urgency in the FCC's enforcement activities targeting spectrum polluters, such as utilities with noisy power lines, or the few violators in our own ranks. He went on to say that it is troubling to see recommendations for such drastic reductions in the Commission's geographic footprint and the number of field agents at a time when the Field staff is facing ever- increasing challenges. Radio Ink seemed to echo the ARRL's concerns but in relation to a different enforcement target. It said that with the Commission taking fewer and fewer actions against pirates, this news will be troublesome for many broadcasters, especially those in markets where such unlicensed signals are still a major issue. According to the on-line magazine, actions against AM/FM and shortwave pirate stations last year were at their lowest level since 2000. In 2014 there were fewer than 200 actions were taken against these stations including those in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Boston which are still hot spots for pirate broadcast activity. You can read the Radio Ink article at tinyurl.com/lzzht96. The ARRL's very in-depth look at the Enforcement Bureau proposed downsizing is at tinyurl.com/pac2luz (Radio Ink, ARRL, other news reports) **

DX UP FRONT: W0GJ AND THE K1N NEVASSA ISLAND STORY In DX up front, word that Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, the co- team leader of the recent K1N Nevassa Island DXpedition has written a detailed article regarding all aspects of planning and executing this recent operation. The article gives the complete story showing that DXpeditions of this scale take professional levels of planning, negotiations, and execution required during every step of the way. You can download a full color copy from the Twin Cities DX Association web site at tinyurl.com/the-k1n-story (OPDX) **

DX UP FRONT: DX0 - SPRATLY ISLANDS IN APRIL The exact dates are still not known for the D-X-zero-P operation from Pagasa Island that is supposed to take place sometime in April. Over the past two weeks it was mentioned that the team must leave Manila for Palawan Island on April 13th to recover their stored equipment. The plan was to stay overnight in Palawan and than go the next day to Pagasa. One there, activity is planned for 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and JT-65. If you make contact QSL's are to go via WA6LOS. For the latest information and updates be sure to check facebook.com/DX0P2015. (OPDX)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: DAYTON NAMES 2015 AWARD WINNERS The Dayton Hamvention has named the recipients of this year's awards. They are Tim Duffy, K3LR as Amateur of the Year; Tom Medlin, W5KUB, as Special Achievement Award winner; the Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV who gets the Technical Excellence Award and the Orlando Amateur Radio Club as Club of the Year. Amateur of the year Tim Duffy, K3LR, of West Middlesex , PA, has a long history of giving back to Amateur Radio. He is founder, promoter and chairman of the successful Contest University which has helped to teach radio sport contest operating with excellent volunteer professors. The first Contest University was held in Dayton in 2007. Since then, more 3,700 radio sport enthusiasts have attended 25 Contest University sessions held in eight different countries under his watchful guidance. The Dayton Hamvention Special Achievement Award recognizes the 14 years of service that Tom Medlin, W5KUB, has provided through W5KUB.com, a worldwide webcast of live ham radio events. From his start as "Helmet Cam" man, he has grown the webcast to cover all aspects of amateur radio from such events as the Dayton Hamvention to Field Day, vendor tours, special technical discussions, and special events such as K6H from the stage of "Last Man Standing" in Hollywood . The webcast recently added a weekly live amateur radio program which remotely brings in guests from around the world. The W5KUB.com viewer base has reached approximately 50,000 unique operators in about 150 countries. The Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence Award is being given to the Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV, who has helped many amateur radio operators build their own equipment. Currently G3RJV writes a monthly practical construction column, "Continuing the Practical Way " for the Practical Wireless magazine and the QRP Column for the Radio Society of Great Britain magazine Radio Communication. He authored the book "QRP Basics" and jointly compiled the "International QRP Collection" for the RSGB. Club of the Year is the Orlando Amateur Radio Club with the club call of W4PLB. This is the largest and oldest amateur radio club in Central Florida with consistently over 300 members. It is an ARRL Special Service Club, and offers many outlets for amateur radio enjoyment and growth. The members of the Orlando Amateur Radio Club take great pride in planning for the future of amateur radio and preserving the history of technology. Annual events include the Orlando HamCation which is sponsored and financially supported by the Orlando Amateur Radio Club whose members contribute their time and effort in promoting this high quality hamfest. All will be will be honored guests when Hamvention 2015 opens in Hara Arena on May 15th. **

RADIO LAW: COLORADO HAMS NOW HAVE STATE PRB-1 LIKE PROTECTION Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed into law an Amateur Radio antenna bill that mirrors the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy. Hickenlooper put his signature on the measure on March 13th after the Colorado General Assembly, without amendment passed Senate Bill 15-041 which had been introduced in early January. Bill 15-041 specifies that no local government shall enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution regulating amateur radio antennas that fails to conform with PRB-1's reasonable accommodation provisions. This measure was jointly sponsored by Colorado Senator Chris Holbert and Representative Kevin Van Winkle. According to Colorado Section Manager Jack Ciaccia, WM0G, this was truly a bi-partisan bill with terrific support from both sides of the aisle in both legislative chambers. (ARRL Colorado Section) **

 RESCUE RADIO: OAKLAND COUNTY MICHIGAN TO OFFER SKYWARN TRAINING The National Weather Service is looking for individuals in Oakland County, Michigan, to participate in a Skywarn program that aims to save lives by providing free training for severe weather spotters. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, has the details: -- [Bill] The program is being coordinated by the Oakland County Homeland Security Division which will host classes in various locations across the county during March and April. During the sessions instructors will walk participants through a recap of last year's weather outbreaks and take a look at how spotters played a role helping with warning operations. Attendees will also learn how to report severe weather events via amateur radio or telephone to the National Weather Service. This, while also learning how to remain safe while doing so. After completion of the class, volunteers will be tasked with keeping an eye on the sky and reporting severe weather in their own neighborhoods. Currently, some 5,000 spotters across 17 counties in southeast Michigan participate in the Skywarn program but more are always needed. This is because the footprint of any given storm is often relatively small and a trained spotter is not always available in the storm's path. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the newsroom in Los Angeles . -- [Don:] Those in Oakland county Michigan wishing to participate in the classes should visit oakgov.com/homelandsecurity and click on the Skywarn logo to register. (hometownlife.com) **

LICENSING: FCC DOWNGRADES HAM LICENSE TO TECH DUE TO VEC FILING ERROR Brent D. Cullen, KD0YLM has had his General class license downgraded to Technician, but not because he did anything wrong. Rather it is another of those annoying clerical errors on the part of the Volunteer Examination Coordinator that happen from time to time. Newsline's Skeeter Nash N5ASH has the back-story. [Skeeter:] On December 3, 2014 , the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator sent an electronic data file to the Commission requesting that Cullen's operator license for amateur station KD0YLM be modified to upgrade from Technician to General Class amateur radio operator privileges. Based on this application, the Commission granted Cullen a General Class amateur service operator license on December 3, 2014 . By correspondence dated January 16, 2015 , the ARRL notified the Commission that there was an error in the December 3, 2014 data file and that a licensee other than Cullen had qualified for a General Class operator license. The ARRL noted that a correction was filed, resulting in the other licensee receiving the operator license for which he had qualified, but that Cullen's operator privileges had not been returned to Technician Class operator privileges. As a result, the FCC proposed to modify the license for Station KD0YLM to show Technician Class operator privileges effective as of March 16th. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Skeeter Nash N5ASH in Topeka, Kansas. (FCC) **

 HAM HAPPENINGS: WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY 2015 Mark down April 18th as the day that radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union or IARU was formed in Paris, France . Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum. Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators scattered around the globe. World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member- Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide. And in helping to keep with the spirit of the event, the IARU is providing a downloadable poster for World Amateur Radio Day 2015. Any group may download it and have it printed locally. Its in Adobe PDF- format at tinyurl.com/ward-poster-2015 (IARU) **

NAMES IN THE NEWS: DON KEITH N4KC NEW BOOK THE SHIP THAT WOULDN'T DIE Some names in the news. First up, best-selling author and active radio amateur operator Don Keith N4KC has just published his 29th book. Titled the Ship That Wouldn't Die its described as an epic and true World War II story about a crucial but little known incident at the Battle of the Coral Sea. Don Keith has written both fiction and non-fiction on many subjects including submarines, college football, broadcasting, WWII history, and inspirational fiction. His book Firing Point, co-written with former Navy submarine skipper George Wallace, is in pre-production as a major motion picture set to release in 2016 under the title Hunter Killer. N4KC is active in all aspects of the hobby, is an ARRL member, and holds the Extra Class amateur radio license. His amateur radio web site, which includes many articles for ham radio enthusiasts, is www.n4kc.com. (Press release) **

NAMES IN THE NEWS: AC8PI CREATES NEW 20 METER YOUTH NET And Justin Gulder, AC8PI, has announced the creation of a new High Frequency youth net. According to AC8PI, its purpose is to serve as a meeting place for young hams on the H F bands and to provide short contacts between those who have checked in. Listen out for it on 20 meters between 14.320 and 14.330 MHz on Sunday afternoon between 2 and 3 P.M. Eastern time. (AC8PI)

 EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: RESEARCHERS CREATE MOLECULE-MAKING 3D PRINTER Researchers have achieved success in creating a unique type of 3D printer that is capable of working on atomic scale, as we hear from Heather Embee, KB3TZD. [Heather:] Dr. Martin D. Burke is a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and one of the researchers involved in the project. He explains that the traditional way of synthesizing small molecules requires a step-by-step series of chemical reactions. This is a process that is both time-consuming and requires enormous expertise. But the new molecule level printer changes all of this To create the printer, Burke and his collaborators analyzed the structures of thousands of molecules and identified the chemical building blocks shared by a large majority of them. The machine essentially snaps these building blocks together like LEGOs and then washes away the byproducts. So far the device is capable of building 14 classes of small molecules, and the researchers hope to develop the technology to the point that it can assemble almost any kind of small molecule. The researchers say that their molecule- making machine could revolutionize the drug-development process as well as simplifying the fabrication of solar cells and other high-tech products. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee KB3TZD in Berwick, Pennsylvania. [Don: ] The research was published March 13th in the on-line journal Science. More is at tinyurl.com/molecule-making- printer (Science.com, BusinessJournal.com) **

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: 2016 ARISS SCHOOL CONTACT PROPOSAL WINDOW OPEN THROUGH APRIL 15 The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS in 2016. ARISS anticipates that such a contact would be held between January 1st and June 30th of 2016. Crew scheduling and space station orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. The deadline to submit a proposal is April 15, 2015 . Proposal information and documents can be found at www.arrl.org/hosting-an-ariss-contact. (ARISS) **

HAMRADIO IN SPACE: FIRST GREEK CUBESAT NOW TRANSMITTING Lambda-Sat, the first Greek CubeSat, was released from the International Space Station on March 4th and its developers have invited radio amateurs around the world to listen for its signal and to file reports. The one unit size CubeSat transmits AX.25-protocol U I packets at 1200 bits per second using AFSK on 437.462 MHz. Its one watt transmitter identifies as KK6DFZ. Lambda-Sat was constructed entirely by young volunteers from Greece , who traveled to California 's Silicon Valley to participate in this project. More details on the web at www.cyhams.org. (Lambda-Sat) **

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: TWO MILLION PACKETS UPLOADED TO FUNCUBE DATA WAREHOUSE The FUNcube Data Warehouse has received some two million packets of telemetry data from ground stations around the world. FUNcube-1 also known as AO-73 was launched on November 21, 2013 . Since then radio amateurs and schools have been receiving the telemetry packets transmitted by the satellite and passing them to the AMSAT-UK Data Warehouse for analysis and storage. Statistics as of 09:53 UTC on March 15th show the number of registered users at 1529 with active users in last two weeks at 193. But here's where it really gets impressive. The number of packets transmitted by satellite since deployment stands at over eight million while packets uploaded by users before de-duplication sits at close to the same number. Deleting duplication, the number of packets stored in warehouse is in he process of passing the two million mark. (G3VHF via Southgate ) **

OFF THE AIR: DINO ISLAND NO LONGER VALID FOR IOTA CREDIT The United Kingdom-based Islands on the Air Committee has deleted Dino Island from its list of eligible entities. The actual decision came about this past January 1st after it was found that Dino no longer meets the requirements laid down for IOTA qualification. Dino Island, which had been assigned the designation EU-144 is an Italian entity located at 37.90 to 40.38 North Latitude and 15.63 to 17.22 East Longitude. But over the years the distance separating the island from the mainland has reduced as the beach area gradually encroached into the channel and is now significantly less than the required 200 meters. When it made its announcement, the Islands on the Air Committee says that credit will continue to be given for contacts with Dino made before January 1st of 2015,but not for any made after that date. (IOTA) ** DX In DX, F5IVC is now active as 5V7SM from Togo . He recently informed the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter that he will be there for professional reasons for upward of 2 years or more. He also notes that he is currently is only on 10 meter SSB but is waiting for a multi-band antenna to arrive. QSL info for now is via his French address on QRZ.com. 5T-zero-JL has confirmed that he has been authorized to use the special callsign 5T2MM to operate from Mauritania between April 17th and the 20th including the CQ MM DX Contest on April 18th and19th. His QSL Manager is PY4KL. DL1R-NT will be operational as 8Q7NT from Embudu, South Male Atoll in the Maldives between March 25th and April 2nd. Activity will be holiday style on 40 through 10 meters using mostly CW with some RTTY and PSK. QSL via his home callsign. Lastly, a reminder that three operators from Poland will activate Kathmandu, Nepal, between March 18th and the 30th. Operators mentioned are SP2FUD, SP9FIH and SQ9CNN. For more details including updates and QSL routing take your web browser to 9n.dxpeditions.org. (This weeks DX news courtesy of the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter) **

THAT FINAL ITEM: WIRELESS POWER TRANSMITTED 170 FEET OF USING MICROWAVES And finally this week, wireless energy generation from space is now one small step closer to becoming a feasible delivery source of power. This following a new experiment that successfully transmitted electric power using microwaves. Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephen Kinford N8WB has the details: -- [Stephen:] The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency also known as Jaxa conducted the research which sent 1.8 kilowatts of electricity 170 feet through the air in the form of microwave radiation. The beam was transmitted with a great degree of accuracy showing the technique may be used on a larger scale. Engineers at Jaxa have spent years researching new technologies to enable the delivery of energy from space based solar collectors down to our home planet. Solar cells commonly power satellites, space probes, and the International Space Station. However, delivering that power to Earth in an economical manner is still a challenge facing developers. Now researchers say that the Sun's energy might, one day, be collected by massive solar panels in space, and the energy generated from the systems could be sent to Earth in the form of highly directional microwaves. Such networks for generating electricity in space would have some advantages over ground-based systems. Solar collectors in space would not be subject to the cycles of day or night, or cloudy conditions. Current plans to develop an orbiting energy generation system involve sending satellites with large solar panels into geostationary orbits more than 22,000 miles above the Earth. Challenges facing engineers include launching these massive solar arrays and maintaining them once they are on- orbit. Because of these issues, Jaxa engineers believe that a full network to generate electricity in space will not be available until sometime in the 2040's. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB in Wadsworth, Ohio. -- [Don:] According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency additional uses for the space-based power system could include sending electricity to remote regions in the wake of natural and man-made disasters. Future development of the current system could produce a device capable of transmitting and receiving energy from ocean platforms, far from the nearest coast.
 

PROPAGATION: SUN FIRES OFF ANOTHER SOLAR FLARE AND CME Space Weather reports March 15th began with a solar bang. Between 00:45 and 02:00 UTC , a magnetic filament erupted in concert with a slow C9-class solar flare from sunspot AR- 2297 that hurled a Coronal Mass Ejection or C-M-E into space. At that time, modeling by analysts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested that the cloud would deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of March 17. They also estimated there would be a 50% chance of geomagnetic storms when the C- M-E arrived. But they were in for quite a surprise. A severe solar storm smacked Earth with a surprisingly big geomagnetic jolt on Tuesday, March 17th. Two blasts of magnetic plasma that left the sun separately combined and arrived on Earth about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expected. Forecasters figured it would come late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Instead it arrived just before 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This storm ranked a 4 on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 1-to-5 scale for geomagnetic effects. It is the strongest solar storm to blast Earth since the fall of 2013. It's been nearly a decade since a level 5 storm, termed extreme, has hit Earth. It had forecast it to arrive at a level 1. (NOAA, Space Weather) **

RESCUE RADIO: CYLONE PAM DEVISTATES VANUATU Packing winds of close to 200 miles an hour, Category 5 Cyclone Pam caused severe damage when it hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu on March 13th. Vanuatu 's government declared a nationwide state of emergency, and Australia and New Zealand were among the first to send in relief supplies. The cyclone tore apart the infrastructure of Vanuatu 's 12 inhabited islands, and all but isolated it from the world. And as far as we have been able to determine, this was a case where not even amateur radio could fill in the communications gap. Mainly because there are very few resident hams living there; nor does there seem to be an established emergency calling frequency on any of the amateur bands. About the closest thing to a ham radio response frequency might be the Pacific Maritime net on 14.300 MHz, but what assistance if any was provided by this group is unknown as we go to air. Nor is it known if the non-ham-radio Vanuatu Net, which operates daily at 20:30 U-T-C during cruising season on 8.230 MHz was activated. The restoration of communications with Vanuatu required first responders from other nations arriving with their own communications gear, primarily satellite telephones. It was only then that the full extent of the devastation that Cyclone Pam caused to Vanuatu was made known to the world. Amateur radio likes to claim that its there when all other means of communications have failed. But in this case, there were simply no hams on Vanuatu to respond. (Published news reports and postings on QRZ.com) **

RESCUE RADIO: INITIAL PLANS FOR GAREC 2015 ANNOUNCED The 2015 Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference better known as GAREC 2015 will take place June 23rd and 24th in Tampere, Finland . This year's event is being hosted by the Finnish Amateur Radio League and is being organized by Finland 's national emergency communications society the SRT. The theme is cooperating with Authorities. Already announced as a part of the program is International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Emergency Communications Coordinator, Greg Mossop G-zero-DUB. He will chair a discussion on the theme of what amateur radio has done to cooperate with authorities when called upon to do so. Program Committee Chairman Dr. Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR will review GAREC from 2005 to 2015 in relation to non-government emergency relief agencies. Reports will also be provided by representatives of International Amateur Radio Union regions 1, 2 and 3, in a session chaired by SRT president Jyri Putkonen, OH7JP. This year's gathering is kind of a home-coming for the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference. This is because it was in Tampere, Finland, that the first such conference was held back in 2005. More information on this year's gathering is available at radioturva.fi/garec-2015 (IARU Region 1) **

WORLDBEAT: SARL TO ASSIST IN LICNSING OF HAMS IN ZAMBIA The South African Radio League will assist the Radio Society of Zambia with the licensing of amateurs in that country. In accordance with the requirements of the International Telecommunications Union, the Zambian authorities require what is known as a Harmonized Amateur Radio Examination Certificate before issuing a license. In the past this certificate was provided by the United Kingdom's City and Guilds organization after Zambian candidates passed its amateur exam but this arrangement is no longer in place. So the Radio Society of Zambia approached the South African Radio League to conclude an understanding whereby the Zambian candidates can instead take the South African examination. Under the new agreement, Zambian amateur radio candidates will be tested for the South African examination. For this purpose, a South African Radio League examination center will be registered in Zambia . The Radio Society of Zambia will provide the venue, test personnel, security arrangements and cover all costs. On completion of a test session the answer sheets will be returned to South Africa and will be marked, after which any Harmonized Amateur Radio Examination Certificates will be couriered to the Radio Society of Zambia for those candidates who pass. Zambian authorities have already agreed to accept the certificates issued by the South African Radio League. This arrangement is similar to one that the South African Radio League already has in place with Namibian Amateur Radio League. (SARL) **

ENFORCEMENT: FCC FIELD OFFICE DOWNSIZING CONFIRMED The Federal Communications Commission is considering the downsizing its EnforcementBureau and Field Office operations. In a very governmental sounding reply, an FCC spokesperson responded to an inquiry from the on-line publication Radio Ink regarding the rumor of downsizing in the field operations. To quote the response: "The Commission recently completed a thorough, data-driven review of our field programs with an eye toward improving efficiency while meeting our responsibilities both today and in the future. The commissioners are considering a proposal that meets these goals." In its report, the ARRL went further. According to an internal March 10th FCC Enforcement Bureau memorandum obtained by the League, the Bureau plans to ask the full Commission to cut two-thirds of its field offices and eliminate nearly one-half of its field agents. Under its "Phase I" field modernization scheme, the Bureau will recommend to the full Commission that it adjust the primary focus of its reduced field office complement to RF spectrum enforcement. It will also recommend "adjusting" the number of field agents from 63 to 33. At the same time, the Bureau would develop a so-called "Tiger Team" of field agents as a flexible strike force it could deploy as needed. The ARRL's Dave Sumner noted that the League is concerned that there is already no sense of urgency in the FCC's enforcement activities targeting spectrum polluters, such as utilities with noisy power lines, or the few violators in our own ranks. He went on to say that it is troubling to see recommendations for such drastic reductions in the Commission's geographic footprint and the number of field agents at a time when the Field staff is facing ever- increasing challenges. Radio Ink seemed to echo the ARRL's concerns but in relation to a different enforcement target. It said that with the Commission taking fewer and fewer actions against pirates, this news will be troublesome for many broadcasters, especially those in markets where such unlicensed signals are still a major issue. According to the on-line magazine, actions against AM/FM and shortwave pirate stations last year were at their lowest level since 2000. In 2014 there were fewer than 200 actions were taken against these stations including those in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Boston which are still hot spots for pirate broadcast activity. You can read the Radio Ink article at tinyurl.com/lzzht96. The ARRL's very in-depth look at the Enforcement Bureau proposed downsizing is at tinyurl.com/pac2luz (Radio Ink, ARRL, other news reports) **

DX UP FRONT: W0GJ AND THE K1N NEVASSA ISLAND STORY In DX up front, word that Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, the co- team leader of the recent K1N Nevassa Island DXpedition has written a detailed article regarding all aspects of planning and executing this recent operation. The article gives the complete story showing that DXpeditions of this scale take professional levels of planning, negotiations, and execution required during every step of the way. You can download a full color copy from the Twin Cities DX Association web site at tinyurl.com/the-k1n-story (OPDX) **

DX UP FRONT: DX0 - SPRATLY ISLANDS IN APRIL The exact dates are still not known for the D-X-zero-P operation from Pagasa Island that is supposed to take place sometime in April. Over the past two weeks it was mentioned that the team must leave Manila for Palawan Island on April 13th to recover their stored equipment. The plan was to stay overnight in Palawan and than go the next day to Pagasa. One there, activity is planned for 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and JT-65. If you make contact QSL's are to go via WA6LOS. For the latest information and updates be sure to check facebook.com/DX0P2015. (OPDX) **

NAMES IN THE NEWS: DAYTON NAMES 2015 AWARD WINNERS The Dayton Hamvention has named the recipients of this year's awards. They are Tim Duffy, K3LR as Amateur of the Year; Tom Medlin, W5KUB, as Special Achievement Award winner; the Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV who gets the Technical Excellence Award and the Orlando Amateur Radio Club as Club of the Year. Amateur of the year Tim Duffy, K3LR, of West Middlesex , PA, has a long history of giving back to Amateur Radio. He is founder, promoter and chairman of the successful Contest University which has helped to teach radio sport contest operating with excellent volunteer professors. The first Contest University was held in Dayton in 2007. Since then, more 3,700 radio sport enthusiasts have attended 25 Contest University sessions held in eight different countries under his watchful guidance. The Dayton Hamvention Special Achievement Award recognizes the 14 years of service that Tom Medlin, W5KUB, has provided through W5KUB.com, a worldwide webcast of live ham radio events. From his start as "Helmet Cam" man, he has grown the webcast to cover all aspects of amateur radio from such events as the Dayton Hamvention to Field Day, vendor tours, special technical discussions, and special events such as K6H from the stage of "Last Man Standing" in Hollywood . The webcast recently added a weekly live amateur radio program which remotely brings in guests from around the world. The W5KUB.com viewer base has reached approximately 50,000 unique operators in about 150 countries. The Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence Award is being given to the Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV, who has helped many amateur radio operators build their own equipment. Currently G3RJV writes a monthly practical construction column, "Continuing the Practical Way " for the Practical Wireless magazine and the QRP Column for the Radio Society of Great Britain magazine Radio Communication. He authored the book "QRP Basics" and jointly compiled the "International QRP Collection" for the RSGB. Club of the Year is the Orlando Amateur Radio Club with the club call of W4PLB. This is the largest and oldest amateur radio club in Central Florida with consistently over 300 members. It is an ARRL Special Service Club, and offers many outlets for amateur radio enjoyment and growth. The members of the Orlando Amateur Radio Club take great pride in planning for the future of amateur radio and preserving the history of technology. Annual events include the Orlando HamCation which is sponsored and financially supported by the Orlando Amateur Radio Club whose members contribute their time and effort in promoting this high quality hamfest. All will be will be honored guests when Hamvention 2015 opens in Hara Arena on May 15th. **

RADIO LAW: COLORADO HAMS NOW HAVE STATE PRB-1 LIKE PROTECTION Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed into law an Amateur Radio antenna bill that mirrors the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy. Hickenlooper put his signature on the measure on March 13th after the Colorado General Assembly, without amendment passed Senate Bill 15-041 which had been introduced in early January. Bill 15-041 specifies that no local government shall enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution regulating amateur radio antennas that fails to conform with PRB-1's reasonable accommodation provisions. This measure was jointly sponsored by Colorado Senator Chris Holbert and Representative Kevin Van Winkle. According to Colorado Section Manager Jack Ciaccia, WM0G, this was truly a bi-partisan bill with terrific support from both sides of the aisle in both legislative chambers. (ARRL Colorado Section) **

 RESCUE RADIO: OAKLAND COUNTY MICHIGAN TO OFFER SKYWARN TRAINING The National Weather Service is looking for individuals in Oakland County, Michigan, to participate in a Skywarn program that aims to save lives by providing free training for severe weather spotters. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, has the details: -- [Bill] The program is being coordinated by the Oakland County Homeland Security Division which will host classes in various locations across the county during March and April. During the sessions instructors will walk participants through a recap of last year's weather outbreaks and take a look at how spotters played a role helping with warning operations. Attendees will also learn how to report severe weather events via amateur radio or telephone to the National Weather Service. This, while also learning how to remain safe while doing so. After completion of the class, volunteers will be tasked with keeping an eye on the sky and reporting severe weather in their own neighborhoods. Currently, some 5,000 spotters across 17 counties in southeast Michigan participate in the Skywarn program but more are always needed. This is because the footprint of any given storm is often relatively small and a trained spotter is not always available in the storm's path. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the newsroom in Los Angeles . -- [Don:] Those in Oakland county Michigan wishing to participate in the classes should visit oakgov.com/homelandsecurity and click on the Skywarn logo to register. (hometownlife.com) **

LICENSING: FCC DOWNGRADES HAM LICENSE TO TECH DUE TO VEC FILING ERROR Brent D. Cullen, KD0YLM has had his General class license downgraded to Technician, but not because he did anything wrong. Rather it is another of those annoying clerical errors on the part of the Volunteer Examination Coordinator that happen from time to time. Newsline's Skeeter Nash N5ASH has the back-story. [Skeeter:] On December 3, 2014 , the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator sent an electronic data file to the Commission requesting that Cullen's operator license for amateur station KD0YLM be modified to upgrade from Technician to General Class amateur radio operator privileges. Based on this application, the Commission granted Cullen a General Class amateur service operator license on December 3, 2014 . By correspondence dated January 16, 2015 , the ARRL notified the Commission that there was an error in the December 3, 2014 data file and that a licensee other than Cullen had qualified for a General Class operator license. The ARRL noted that a correction was filed, resulting in the other licensee receiving the operator license for which he had qualified, but that Cullen's operator privileges had not been returned to Technician Class operator privileges. As a result, the FCC proposed to modify the license for Station KD0YLM to show Technician Class operator privileges effective as of March 16th. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Skeeter Nash N5ASH in Topeka, Kansas. (FCC) **

HAM HAPPENINGS: WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY 2015 Mark down April 18th as the day that radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union or IARU was formed in Paris, France . Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum. Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators scattered around the globe. World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member- Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide. And in helping to keep with the spirit of the event, the IARU is providing a downloadable poster for World Amateur Radio Day 2015. Any group may download it and have it printed locally. Its in Adobe PDF- format at tinyurl.com/ward-poster-2015 (IARU) **

NAMES IN THE NEWS: DON KEITH N4KC NEW BOOK THE SHIP THAT WOULDN'T DIE Some names in the news. First up, best-selling author and active radio amateur operator Don Keith N4KC has just published his 29th book. Titled the Ship That Wouldn't Die its described as an epic and true World War II story about a crucial but little known incident at the Battle of the Coral Sea. Don Keith has written both fiction and non-fiction on many subjects including submarines, college football, broadcasting, WWII history, and inspirational fiction. His book Firing Point, co-written with former Navy submarine skipper George Wallace, is in pre-production as a major motion picture set to release in 2016 under the title Hunter Killer. N4KC is active in all aspects of the hobby, is an ARRL member, and holds the Extra Class amateur radio license. His amateur radio web site, which includes many articles for ham radio enthusiasts, is www.n4kc.com. (Press release) **

NAMES IN THE NEWS: AC8PI CREATES NEW 20 METER YOUTH NET And Justin Gulder, AC8PI, has announced the creation of a new High Frequency youth net. According to AC8PI, its purpose is to serve as a meeting place for young hams on the H F bands and to provide short contacts between those who have checked in. Listen out for it on 20 meters between 14.320 and 14.330 MHz on Sunday afternoon between 2 and 3 P.M. Eastern time. (AC8PI) ***

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: RESEARCHERS CREATE MOLECULE-MAKING 3D PRINTER Researchers have achieved success in creating a unique type of 3D printer that is capable of working on atomic scale, as we hear from Heather Embee, KB3TZD. [Heather:] Dr. Martin D. Burke is a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and one of the researchers involved in the project. He explains that the traditional way of synthesizing small molecules requires a step-by-step series of chemical reactions. This is a process that is both time-consuming and requires enormous expertise. But the new molecule level printer changes all of this To create the printer, Burke and his collaborators analyzed the structures of thousands of molecules and identified the chemical building blocks shared by a large majority of them. The machine essentially snaps these building blocks together like LEGOs and then washes away the byproducts. So far the device is capable of building 14 classes of small molecules, and the researchers hope to develop the technology to the point that it can assemble almost any kind of small molecule. The researchers say that their molecule- making machine could revolutionize the drug-development process as well as simplifying the fabrication of solar cells and other high-tech products. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee KB3TZD in Berwick, Pennsylvania. [Don: ] The research was published March 13th in the on-line journal Science. More is at tinyurl.com/molecule-making- printer (Science.com, BusinessJournal.com) **

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: 2016 ARISS SCHOOL CONTACT PROPOSAL WINDOW OPEN THROUGH APRIL 15 The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS in 2016. ARISS anticipates that such a contact would be held between January 1st and June 30th of 2016. Crew scheduling and space station orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. The deadline to submit a proposal is April 15, 2015 . Proposal information and documents can be found at www.arrl.org/hosting-an-ariss-contact. (ARISS) **

HAMRADIO IN SPACE: FIRST GREEK CUBESAT NOW TRANSMITTING Lambda-Sat, the first Greek CubeSat, was released from the International Space Station on March 4th and its developers have invited radio amateurs around the world to listen for its signal and to file reports. The one unit size CubeSat transmits AX.25-protocol U I packets at 1200 bits per second using AFSK on 437.462 MHz. Its one watt transmitter identifies as KK6DFZ. Lambda-Sat was constructed entirely by young volunteers from Greece , who traveled to California 's Silicon Valley to participate in this project. More details on the web at www.cyhams.org. (Lambda-Sat) **

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: TWO MILLION PACKETS UPLOADED TO FUNCUBE DATA WAREHOUSE The FUNcube Data Warehouse has received some two million packets of telemetry data from ground stations around the world. FUNcube-1 also known as AO-73 was launched on November 21, 2013 . Since then radio amateurs and schools have been receiving the telemetry packets transmitted by the satellite and passing them to the AMSAT-UK Data Warehouse for analysis and storage. Statistics as of 09:53 UTC on March 15th show the number of registered users at 1529 with active users in last two weeks at 193. But here's where it really gets impressive. The number of packets transmitted by satellite since deployment stands at over eight million while packets uploaded by users before de-duplication sits at close to the same number. Deleting duplication, the number of packets stored in warehouse is in he process of passing the two million mark. (G3VHF via Southgate ) **

OFF THE AIR: DINO ISLAND NO LONGER VALID FOR IOTA CREDIT The United Kingdom-based Islands on the Air Committee has deleted Dino Island from its list of eligible entities. The actual decision came about this past January 1st after it was found that Dino no longer meets the requirements laid down for IOTA qualification. Dino Island, which had been assigned the designation EU-144 is an Italian entity located at 37.90 to 40.38 North Latitude and 15.63 to 17.22 East Longitude. But over the years the distance separating the island from the mainland has reduced as the beach area gradually encroached into the channel and is now significantly less than the required 200 meters. When it made its announcement, the Islands on the Air Committee says that credit will continue to be given for contacts with Dino made before January 1st of 2015,but not for any made after that date. (IOTA) **

DX In DX, F5IVC is now active as 5V7SM from Togo . He recently informed the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter that he will be there for professional reasons for upward of 2 years or more. He also notes that he is currently is only on 10 meter SSB but is waiting for a multi-band antenna to arrive. QSL info for now is via his French address on QRZ.com. 5T-zero-JL has confirmed that he has been authorized to use the special callsign 5T2MM to operate from Mauritania between April 17th and the 20th including the CQ MM DX Contest on April 18th and19th. His QSL Manager is PY4KL. DL1R-NT will be operational as 8Q7NT from Embudu, South Male Atoll in the Maldives between March 25th and April 2nd. Activity will be holiday style on 40 through 10 meters using mostly CW with some RTTY and PSK. QSL via his home callsign. Lastly, a reminder that three operators from Poland will activate Kathmandu, Nepal, between March 18th and the 30th. Operators mentioned are SP2FUD, SP9FIH and SQ9CNN. For more details including updates and QSL routing take your web browser to 9n.dxpeditions.org. (This weeks DX news courtesy of the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter) **

THAT FINAL ITEM: WIRELESS POWER TRANSMITTED 170 FEET OF USING MICROWAVES And finally this week, wireless energy generation from space is now one small step closer to becoming a feasible delivery source of power. This following a new experiment that successfully transmitted electric power using microwaves. Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephen Kinford N8WB has the details: -- [Stephen:] The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency also known as Jaxa conducted the research which sent 1.8 kilowatts of electricity 170 feet through the air in the form of microwave radiation. The beam was transmitted with a great degree of accuracy showing the technique may be used on a larger scale. Engineers at Jaxa have spent years researching new technologies to enable the delivery of energy from space based solar collectors down to our home planet. Solar cells commonly power satellites, space probes, and the International Space Station. However, delivering that power to Earth in an economical manner is still a challenge facing developers. Now researchers say that the Sun's energy might, one day, be collected by massive solar panels in space, and the energy generated from the systems could be sent to Earth in the form of highly directional microwaves. Such networks for generating electricity in space would have some advantages over ground-based systems. Solar collectors in space would not be subject to the cycles of day or night, or cloudy conditions. Current plans to develop an orbiting energy generation system involve sending satellites with large solar panels into geostationary orbits more than 22,000 miles above the Earth. Challenges facing engineers include launching these massive solar arrays and maintaining them once they are on- orbit. Because of these issues, Jaxa engineers believe that a full network to generate electricity in space will not be available until sometime in the 2040's. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB in Wadsworth, Ohio. -- [Don:] According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency additional uses for the space-based power system could include sending electricity to remote regions in the wake of natural and man-made disasters. Future development of the current system could produce a device capable of transmitting and receiving energy from ocean platforms, far from the nearest coast.
 

THURSDAY  EDITION: Joe-JEK reminds us that the Hamfest in Lewiston, Maine is this weekend, I believe Friday and Saturday. The rooms at the Ramada Inn are priced at just 65 bucks a night, pretty good! If I wasn't so damn lazy I would drive up and stay the night......How about that plane going down? The pilot was locked out of the cockpit and banging to get in.....the copilot took the plane down.....This 59-minute version of the 1944 film Voice of Victory tells the story of how Hallicrafters developed the WWII SCR299 military shortwave radio from the pre-war HT-4 amateur radio set
 

FCC to Close 16 of 24 Field Offices: Hams on 14313 and 14275 celebrate
Chairman pleads budget proposal before Congress

WASHINGTON—Field offices are on the chopping block at the Federal Communications Commission. Sixteen of 24 are being targeted for closure, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told members of Congress Tuesday. Wheeler appeared before the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government to plead the agency’s case for 2016 funding.

He said an audit of field offices revealed several with one manager to four employees in “oversized rental facilities, which are draining our resources.”

“After analyzing a contractor report on field office use, we have determined that we can more efficiently deploy staff using a ‘tiger team’ approach and make better use of regional offices,” he said in prepared testimony. “This plan, if accepted by my fellow commissioners, will lead to 16 field office closures and annual savings of $9 million without diminished productivity.”

Non-auction flat funding has led to staff cuts, he said. The commission currently has 1,708 full-time positions, compared to a 20-year average of 1,877. Contractors have been cut as well, from 600 in 2012 to 435 by the end of 2016.

Yet the 2016 budget request is the first in 10 years that doesn’t include a request for more bodies, but rather cuts 37 positions—30 of them from field offices. (See “FCC Possibly Downsizing Enforcement Field Offices,” at Radio World.)

Wheeler said while the staff’s been shrinking, demands have increased and so has the workload for those still standing. At some point, he said, the cuts will have a negative effect.

“For example, in the licensing operations area since 2010, our FTE levels have declined by more than 25 across several bureaus, versus steady growth in licensing activity over that same time, so at some point licensing operations could slow,” he said.

Licensees ultimately will feel the pain, he said.

The commission is asking for an $84 million increase for 2016 in part because the agency’s lease is up in 2017. After mentioning that the commission has generated 13 times its operational costs for the U.S. Treasury for 20 years, Wheeler went on to request auction funding of up to $117 million, $25 million from the Universal Service Fund and $388 million in general spending authority.

“If the commission’s lease were not expiring in 2017, our budget proposal would look different and my presentation today…,” Wheeler said. “We would have been asking for a modest increase over last year’s funding level…”

Wheeler said moving would cost around $51 million up front—similar to the costs associated with moving for the National Institutes of Health and the National Labor Relations Board. In the long run, he said the move would save money.

“Current projections show $13 million in annual savings under the new lease and net savings of $119 million over the life of the new lease,” he said.

Wheeler said the FCC is as lean as it’s ever been. Since 2009, he said the agency’s budget has been flat for non-auction activities, and down taking inflation into account. He acknowledged that auction funding increased over the last two years, but most has gone into the broadcast incentive auction process. He noted that spectrum auctions are lucrative. The recent AWS-3 brought in $41 billion in bids and potentially $20 billion for the treasury.

Wheeler broke down the $84 million increase—$51 million for moving, of which includes $1 million for the Office of the Inspector General, bringing its budget to $12.2 million. Another $17 million targets an ongoing IT upgrade that would include moving legacy applications into the cloud before the move. Around $7 million would go into Congressional mandates: $2.5 million for administering the $1.75 billion post-auction broadcaster relocation fund; $250,000 to support the Do-Not-Call Registry and $600,000 for yearly maintenance; and $3 million annually for the National Broadband Map, previously maintained by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The 2016 budget also shifts Universal Service Funds to cover USF-related commission activities.

“It will reduce by $25 million the Sec. 9 regulatory fee burden on licensees with no universal service relationship,” he said. “USF will pay these costs instead of forcing entities such as small, local broadcasters and marine licensees to pay for USF [full-time employee] activities at the commission.

The shift would reduce Sec. 9 fees by 6 percent and cost large-market broadcasters “several thousand dollars per year,” he said.

KWQC TV - A Radio Ham

The 'Fran Riley Feature' on TV station KWQC reports on radio amateur Dave Mayfield W9WRL who has a ham shack in his basement

Dave collects, restores, and uses ham radio equipment. Ham operators assist with emergency communications and working with public service agencies. That was especially true during Hurricane Katrina.

Watch the KWQC report at
http://kwqc.com/2015/03/25/a-radio-ham/

WEDNESDAY  EDITION: A 6-year-old Indonesian boy addicted to smoking is being praised by his parents for cutting down to five cigarettes a day......Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge recently accepted the Legislative Leadership Award from the Michigan Section of the American Radio Relay League. Jones is the first recipient of the award and was recognized for his leadership on Public Act 556 of 2014 that supports amateur radio operators. The new law codifies a federal order into state law and creates standards for the height of amateur radio antenna structures in Michigan to prevent inconsistent restrictions of these structures by local municipalities.

Gary DeBock's Ultralight Radio Shootout


Gary DeBock, acclaimed innovator in the realm of Ultralight DXing, has recently completed a exhaustive comparison of five popular Ultralight (and ultra-cheap) receivers: the C.Crane CC Pocket, the Sangean DT-400W, the Eton Traveler III, the Tecsun PL-310ET, and the C.Crane CC Skywave.

In this excellent guest post, you can read Gary’s full 2015 Ultralight Radio Shootout Review:
http://wp.me/pn3uc-3js


Check out this portable SDR radio..
 

TUESDAY  EDITION: Beautiful day here in New England....

QSO Today, EP 34, Jerry Buxton N0JY

After spending a career working on the railroad, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, is sending satellites into space with AMSAT, as their new VP of Engineering on the FOX-1 cube satellite project.

Amateur radio opens doors to new experiences and opportunities.
Jerry shares his amateur radio story and his busy ham radio life with Eric, 4Z1UG, in this episode of QSO Today.

Show Notes: http://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/N0JY

MONDAY  EDITION: HT FOR THE FUTURE.....I put the new Yaesu Fusion repeater on 443.700 in Gloucester, MA if you can hit it. It strikes me funny the only way to shut if off remotely is using a new Yaesu radio with ETS. It cannot be controlled with regular tones which forces you to buy an interface and controller from Arcomm which runs about 500 bucks, all I paid for the new repeater was 500 bucks....What the hell is wrong with the design engineers at Yaesu? It has no courtesy tone, again without buying an external controller.....Nazi hideout found.....

Full-duplex radio integrated circuits demonstrated

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers has invented a technology - full-duplex radio integrated circuits (ICs) - that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio.

Up to now, this has been thought to be impossible: transmitters and receivers either work at different times or at the same time but at different frequencies.

The Columbia team, led by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, is the first to demonstrate an IC that can accomplish this. The researchers presented their work at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco on February 25.

http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/new-technology-may-double-radio-frequency-data-capacity-0

Ham Radio Digital Voice Comparison

In this edition of the Ham Radio Now show Roland Kraatz W9HPX presents his research on D-STAR, DMR and Yaesu Fusion

The Charlotte NC Digital Radio Group is kinda nuts for the DV systems. They don't pick favorites – they put them all up. Their D-STAR system is older and more evolved (multiple sites on 144, 440 and 1200), but they've added DMR/MotoTRBO in a big way, and recently installed one of the Yaesu C4FM "Fusion" repeaters (though they're not "fusing" it - they run it digital only). They've got an NXDN repeater on the bench. Only P-25 [and dPMR] is missing.

In this talk from the Charlotte Hamfest, Roland Kraatz W9HPX presents the research he's done on D-STAR, DMR and Fusion. No on-the-air comparisons (see Episode 161 for that). This is a slide show that compares operational capability and some tech specs.

We're a few weeks away from Yaesu's North America release of WIRES-X, the Internet linking system for Fusion, so Roland only has a few details on that based on manuals.

Watch HRN 195: DV System Comparison on HamRadioNow

Vibroplex Purchases Bencher Amateur Radio Product Line

Bencher Inc has announced the sale of its Amateur Radio product line to Vibroplex LLC of Knoxville, Tennessee, owned by Scott Robbins, W4PA.

“This sale ends Bencher’s presence in the Amateur Radio field, thus allowing the principals, Jere Benedict, President, and Bob Locher, W9KNI, to move towards retirement,” the announcement said.

Product lines included in the sale include the Bencher BY series of iambic paddles as well as the ST series of single-lever paddles, the Bencher Hex Paddle, the N2DAN Mercury Paddle, and the Bencher RJ series hand keys. The sale also includes the HK-1 Universal Hook-up kit and the YA-1 Low Pass Filter.  ARRL

 



New England Hams you might run across on 3864 or 3910.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat
connoisseur,
NIEDU- Dave.... ex-Asst. manager at HRO's Salem store and for some unknown reason rides his cycle year round..
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the hamfests
WB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..

K1JEK-Joe.........Easy going, can be found at every ham flea market in New England ...Cobra Antenna builder..
K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
KB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
N1XW.....Mike- claims to have been abducted by aliens......Temper!
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
WB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
KD1ZY- Warren....3910 regular
N1IOM- Paul.....3910 test king....testing......
N1YSU- Bob,  easy going, kind of like Mr. Rogers until politics are brought up then watch out...
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...

Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group and owner of Peanut (silent key)- mascot....
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio........Ham Radio Ambassador!
Silent Key: K1GAR- John- Very colorful character!......claims to an appointed "hambassador" by Gordon West.....
Silent Key: N1GXW-Frank-Mellow Mainer..........
Silent Key:W1JSH-Mort- Nice fellow to talk to on 3936 on the early afternoon session

Silent Key: K4WHO-Kerry-Mellow ham, professional musician, one of the nice guys on 20 meters..........