Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2122 for Friday, June 27, 2018

James KB7TBT

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2122 for Friday, June 27, 2018

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2122 with a release date of Friday, June 27, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Field Day is done, the World Radiosport Team Championship looms large -- and the International Space Station eyes new radios. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2122 comes your way right now.




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We open this week's newscast with a question: Are you ready for the World Radiosport Team Championships? Ed Durrant DD5LP found some people who are.

ED: The Amateur Radio World Championship in Germany can attract whole families. Here’s an example from Chemnitz - Rita Görner, DG0EQ, her OM Carsten Görner, DG0JCG, were able to inspire their son Tim, a shortwave listener, to volunteer with them to help on the WRTC. Rita and Carsten have been licensed since 1992 and participate in Field days and other activities with their local club. The prospect of experiencing their Field Day atmosphere (which is always very enjoyable) at the World Championships was reason enough for the family to apply to help out as a team. Rita and Tim Görner look after the competitors. Carsten Görner assumes the coordinating role of the so-called site manager and said "In the club we spoke extensively once the venue was announced, about how we could help. You have to be part of world championship when it takes place in your own country. That was very clear to us." Although the family team was prevented from attending the test days in the Wittenberg - Jessen region last year, they are looking forward to their tasks in July. "It's going to be a great experience and we'll do everything we can, to make sure competitors and referees feel comfortable on our site," says Rita. "And getting to know the best Contesters in the world and being able to look over their shoulders will be really great," says a delighted Carsten. Tim Görner, who caught the radio bug as a SWL, is still in the stress of exams at school but soon will complete a course for his ham license. Creating the best conditions for the competition teams was one of the most important tasks in the entire organization. The organizing team also wanted to offer opportunities to around 370 helpers, that they gain new experiences and meet interesting people.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, this has been Ed Durrant DD5LP.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: It's been a big season for ham radio gatherings and amateurs on the Pacific Northwest just had one of their own, as we hear from Kevin Trotman N5PRE.

KEVIN: Add to the list of large successful amateur radio gatherings this year SEA-PAC. Held at the Seaside Convention Center in Oregon, it is billed as the NorthWestern United State's largest ham convention. Delvin Bunton NS7U, event chairman, said that by the time it concluded on June 2nd, more than 2,000 hams had come in from the Pacific Northwest, including Canada, as well as Nevada, Hawaii, Idaho, Connecticut and even Great Britain.

The event kicked of with all-day workshops on antenna modelling as well as emergency communication and preparedness. The weekend seminars covered a range of subjects from the solar eclipse to nurturing your home town club and helping it grow.

The ARRL's Division and Section leaders attended from the NW Division's six sections. Looking to the future, SEA-PAC hosted guest speaker Steve Hicks N5AC of FlexRadio Systems at the Saturday night banquet. Two amateurs from the NorthWest also landed in the spotlight as recipients of the Mickley/Berg memorial college scholarship. They are Joseph Boyd, Jr., KG7ULU, and Joseph Heil, KF7FME. The scholarship is provided each year by the Oregon Tualatin  (too-ALLA-tin) Valley Amateur Radio Club.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In Melbourne, Australia some students can't wait to get to class. Robert Broomhead VK3DN tells us why.

ROBERT: Students are known for asking tough questions - ask any teacher. In mid-July, however, some questions from kids at one Melbourne, Australia school can be expected to rise to a whole new level -- more like 200-plus miles above the earth. Where will they find the answers? Hopefully aboard the International Space Station which will be talking to the Essex Heights Primary School sometime between July 16th and the 22nd. The connection will be made via telebridge, which involves an amateur radio ground station elsewhere establishing the contact and then facilitating the conversation via phone patch.

The school's website describes the occasion as both a school and a community event.

So bring on those questions! Organizers have indicated that the astronaut addressing the curious youngsters is likely to be either be Ricky Arnold KE5DAU or Serena Aunon-Chancellor KG5TMT.

No doubt the students are looking forward - and looking up.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Robert Broomhead VK3DN



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: To keep those space station communications open, new radios are needed, as we hear from Paul Braun WD9GCO.

PAUL/ANCHOR: The current amateur radio equipment on the International Space Station dates back to the year 2000, and after 18 years in conditions the designers never originally considered, components are beginning to fail. The biggest problem is that you can't just pop up there on a Saturday morning after breakfast to fix or replace the gear because it's 250 miles straight up, moving at 17,200 miles per hour.

However, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station organization, or ARISS, is working on new gear that will be flown up to the ISS beginning later this year. I spoke with Dave Taylor, W8AAS who is the U.S. operations manager for ARISS, about what's been happening:

TAYLOR: Right now, all we have is the Kenwood in the Russian module and that was not originally set up as ARISS equipment. That belongs to the Moscow Aviation Institute and they've been using that for various tests. People have seen their MAI SSTV experiments from time to time. We use that for our voice contacts with the schools.

PAUL/ACHOR: Taylor said that getting the packet digipeater back on the air is the first priority. The existing packet module has failed and attempts at remote troubleshooting have been unsuccessful:

TAYLOR: We were able to come up with another copy of the packet module that was built at the same time, so it dates back to 2000. We replaced the backup battery in it, did some tests and it's still working. Because it is identical to what's up there, paperwork is minimal. "Minimal" is still a lot, but it's a lot less than it would have taken if it was new hardware.

PAUL/ANCHOR: Next will be a replacement for the primary radio system in the U.S. module, says Taylor.

TAYLOR: The Inter-operable Radio System is going to be a customized Kenwood TM-D710 unit. Kenwood donated the radio and also a lot of software design and engineering time to modify the hardware and software specifically to ARISS' needs. We will have that radio and a ham-designed multi-voltage power supply which will supply the Kenwood radio and will provide power for the ham TV and several other things that we might want to do in the future.

PAUL/ANCHOR: For many hams, myself included, ARISS combines two passions into one - space exploration and amateur radio:

TAYLOR: It's hard to say how cool it is to stand outside and night and watch the Space Station go over and listen to it at the same time!

PAUL/ANCHOR: If you wish to donate or just want more information, please visit their website at triple-W dot A-R-I-S-S dot org.

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

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The Space Station also made news recently for another reason. Here's Ed Durrant DD5LP.

ED: Europeans were experiencing some Space QRM in late June. No it wasn't from Mars or Jupiter or even the Sun, it came from the International Space Station! Operators across Europe heard English and Spanish stations on the 2 metre FM calling frequency of 145.50 MHz - Was this some special "tropo" propagation that lasted in bursts of 10 to 15 minutes? But why didn't the stations respond to calls?

What happened was that after testing some yet-to-be launched satellites inside the ISS, the Kenwood transceiver was left on in cross-band repeater mode and somehow had been set to 145.5 rather than the usual 145.8MHz output frequency. It went unnoticed except by a few avid ISS followers who happily used it for a couple of days until it was turned off by the astronauts.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP



BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline heard on bulletin stations around the world including the W6CDW repeater at Lake Elsinore peak in California on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. local time.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: CW enthusiasts are no stranger to the name Jack Curtis or his eponymous Curtis Morse Keyer Chip. The man who gave hams a new way to key Morse Code has become a Silent Key. Here's Andy Morrison K9AWM with more.

ANDY: The radio amateur who revolutionized CW keyers with the  use of an IC chip has become a Silent Key. Jack Curtis K6KU - formerly W3NSJ - was the father of the Curtis Morse Keyer chip, reshaping the way keying could be done with the use of memory. His first chip, known as the 8043, was released in 1973 followed by a series of others, ending with a 20-pin chip in 1986. The 20-pin chip incorporated A or B iambic modes and output for a speed meter.

His chips found their way from commercial keyers into commercial amateur rigs and were popular in homebrew projects as well. The Pennsylvania native, an electrical engineer, worked for Sperry Rand and later Corning Glass, after serving in the Navy. His side business, Curtis Electro Devices, was founded to market his Morse Code iambic keyer and later provided memory chips for the emerging cellular industry. The company closed in 2000.

At the time of his death on June 4 he was a resident of Granite Bay, California. Jack Curtis was 87.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Andy Morrison K9AWM




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Although Field DAY attracted lots of attention in North America, some operators were busy working Field NIGHT, as Mike Askins KE5CXP tells us.

MIKE: For many hams in North America, Field Day is part Olympics, part emergency drill and part camping adventure. It's an annual exercise that also raises our hobby's public profile. In Cicero in upstate New York, local officials recognized the Liverpool Amateur Radio Club W2CMX operating at William Park -- and the city of Goose Creek, South Carolina proclaimed Amateur Radio Week. So many hundreds of hams worked out of the spotlight on June 23rd and 24th, however. Among them, Howard Bernstein WB2UZE of the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club, was among thousands working the late-night and overnight shifts. As we await results, Howard reminds us that hams are just known for losing sleep when they're needed.

HOWARD: Great South Bay was short on CW operators because a couple of their very experienced contest operators couldn't make it this year. There are actually three CW positions - a fourth if you consider that the VHF position is there too: 6 meters where you can send CW. They have to be covered. So I stayed as long as I possibly could without losing my attention. So it's not so much that I wanted to stay at that hour but I felt that I had to.

MIKE: Thanks to all the hams who participated, especially those in the "off hours." For Field Day updates, keep listening. For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Mike Askins KE5CXP.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Get ready for a winter event from Australia that promises a lesson in sub-Antarctic history. Here's John Williams VK4JJW.

JOHN: Australian amateurs are using the call sign VI70MI to mark 70 years since the establishment of the first Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition radio station on Macquarie Island. They're getting on the air from the Australian mainland however not taking a trip to the sub-Antarctic island. The call sign however recognizes the first radio communication station commissioned on the island on the 21st of March in 1948. That came just months after Australia had established the very first of its sub-Antarctic stations on Heard Island, the previous December. Macquarie Island's station allowed expeditioners to spend the winter there and stay connected with the world they left behind thanks to radio. Presently there's only one active operator on the island - Norbert VK0AI. Unlike Heard Island, there have been no DXpeditions so far to Macquarie Island.

So if you want to get in on the action without going to any sub-Antarctic extremes, be listening for VI70MI from hams on the Australian mainland until the 31st of August.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm John Williams VK4JJW.



In the world of DX, we remind you that the Baker Island DXpedition is on the air with four stations. Be listening for the KH1/KH7Z team which has been heard on 160 CW, 40 CW and SSB, and 20 SSB. Pay special attention to 60 meters where operators expect to be very active. The KH1/KH7Z frequency plan is on the DXpedition website. The hams will be operating split.

Be listening for Dominic ON4AZP who is operating holiday style from Senegal as 6W/ON4AZP. He will be on the air until July 5th. Find him on SSB on 10, 15, 20 and 40m. QSL to his home call.

You can find Oleh, KD7WPJ, operating between July 2nd and July 4th from Santa Rosa Island. Oleh will be primarily on 50 MHz, using FT8, CW and SSB, but will also have some CW QRP operations on IOTA frequencies. To QSL direct, please send funds to his Livermore address to cover mailing expenses.

Daniel SM0UDH is in the Maldives through the 9th of July and is activating holiday style as 8Q7DT on SSB and Data. QSLs go via his home call.

Antonio EA5RM is in Bolivia until the 10th of July using the call sign CP1XRM. He can be found on 40 - 10m SSB and Data. QSL via his home call and also LoTW.




STEPHEN/ANCHOR: For one ham in England, a charity road rally to Spain turned into a mobile activation as we hear from Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: When James Preece, M0JFP, a member of the Chertsey Radio Club, set out with friends on a 1,400-mile four-day charity drive from Dover in the UK to Benidorm in Spain recently, he and his fellow travellers had hopes for great fundraising possibilities for the local Chertsey children's hospital. They also took with them a Yaesu FT-857 and an SPX-200 multi-band HF antenna, borrowed from Moonraker UK Ltd.

In keeping with the spirit of the charity rally, they drove an old Vauxhall Vectra fitted with stickers and flags and other trappings on the theme of pirate radio, in a mobile tribute to Radio Caroline and Radio Luxemburg. Their destination was "Benidorm or Bust" - the title given to the main event to benefit women and children's services there. It featured nearly 200 decorated older cars, fellow travellers all driving for the main cause, but also supporting those nearer and dearer to home.

The rally left town on the 12th of June with road and ferry crossings still ahead. Operating as both M0JFP and the U.S. callsign WO2I, James logged contacts into the UK, Germany and France along the way whenever possible. He said that as a smaller team within the larger rally, the pirate radio run raised several hundred pounds for the children's ward of Ashford and St. Peter's Hospital.

Having logged all those contacts and all those miles, James told Amateur Radio Newsline in an email that it was one of those experiences he'd never forget.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; ARISS: the ARRL; Chertsey Radio Club; CQ Magazine; Delvin Bunton NS7U; George Dewar VY2GF; Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; James Preece M0JFP; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZNOW.COM, Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; Wireless Institute of Australia; WTWW Shortwave; and you our listeners, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline. Please send emails to our address at newsline@.... More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's only official website at

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB in Wadsworth Ohio saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

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