Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 2045

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2045, January 6, 2017

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2045 with a release date of Friday, January 6, 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. The International Space Station finds help for its VHF radio crisis. American Indians get on the air for their first-ever Net -- and are you ready for Winter Field Day? All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2045 comes your way right now.



SKEETER/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with an encouraging outlook for the International Space Station and its VHF radio crisis. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

NEIL:  As we reported earlier on Amateur Radio Newsline, plans have been under way to replace the VHF radio aboard the International Space Station which failed this past October. The Ericsson VHF handheld that has called the Columbus module home for 17 years came up with an error code as astronaut Kate Rubins, KG5FYJ, was preparing for a contact with a school in Nebraska.  She was able to complete the contact by using a radio in one of the Russian modules in the station.  As a result of this radioís failure, hams all over the planet no longer have the capability of APRS and digipeating on VHF through the space station.   A UHF radio is operating, but contacts are much more difficult due to Doppler shift.
JVC Kenwood graciously donated a TM-D710GA mobile, dual band radio. Modifications have been made, and a special power supply prototype has been built to facilitate using the radio in both US and Russian modules of the space station.  Production and certification are the next steps, which costs an estimated $200,000.
So now not only are the school contacts adversely affected, but every ham who enjoys the digital communications bouncing off the station on VHF has lost that capability.  This makes the urgency for donations to the cause to be even more intense. 

Some local clubs have stepped in to help, such as my home club, the Bloomington Amateur Radio Club in Bloomington, Indiana.  Rosalie White, K1STO, the ARISS International Secretary-Treasurer and also a member of the club, explains: 

ROSALIE:  The Bloomington Amateur Radio Club, voted to donate $100 to ARISS, and a club officer quickly matched that with his own check, as did 2 other club membersÖand my own mother!!  Several members contributed other amounts to equal $200. I told them they made me want to cry happy tears!î 
NEIL: And on December 28, the Quarter Century Wireless Association made a sizeable donation to the cause.  Ken Oelke, VE6AFO, QCWA President, hopes the funding will be a catalyst for individuals and other groups around the globe to follow suit and donate to the radio system cause.  He said, "I truly believe this is a great opportunity for the QCWA to shine in the Amateur Radio Community, and to carry out QCWAís mandate as described in its constitution." Rosalie tells us about another happy donor.
ROSALIE: Dana Harding, VA6DJH, said "I'm happy to help support ARISSís new radio effort.  The whole thing is so cool--who else gets to sit in their living room and just decide to call up the space station...and then have it answer?! With ARISS, I can reach out and touch the ISS!"

NEIL: Individuals and groups interested in helping to make the ARISS hardware reach the ISS can go to the AMSAT Website,, and give a tax-deductible donation by clicking the ARISS Donate button.  Donors giving $100 or more are awarded with a beautiful ARISS Challenge Coin.  Those wishing to make a much more substantial contribution should contact Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, at 

Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, Iím Neil Rapp WB9VPG. 



SKEETER/ANCHOR: In India, amateur radio operators are about to take on a special role during a Hindu pilgrimmage, as we learn from Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW.

JOHN: As Hindu pilgrims gather beginning January 13th to take a holy dip in the River Ganga in West Bengal, India, amateur radio operators are being asked to stand by. The hams, members of the West Bengal Radio Club, have been asked to be available to help locate anyone who goes missing at the gathering, known as the Ganga Sagar Mela.

Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA, secretary of the club, said the amateurs will work with district police, local agencies and non-governmental organizations and information will be shared among them through a central website. Officials told the Indian Express newspaper that every year people go missing at the festival, which constitutes the world's second-largest congregation of people. One official said hams were brought in to assist with making key connections using photographs of anyone missing and being able to network over radio, to contact families.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm John Williams, VK4JJW.



SKEETER/ANCHOR: No one gets a degree from from this university but there are plenty of hams excited about class being in session on Sunday, January 8th in Bethpage, New York. The 18th annual Ham Radio University will feature a full day of sharing ideas, knowledge and fellowship among amateur operators. If you can't get to the Briarcliffe College campus, be sure to work Special Event Station W2HRU. The station went on the air on Jan. 1 and will be operating through Jan. 8 on 40 and 20 meters. On the day of the event, operations will also be on PSK31 on 20 meters. Of course, if you are there in person, there'll be 30 forums to attend and the ARRL's Chief Executive Officer Tom Gallagher NY2RF will give the keynote speech.

For more details visit




SKEETER/ANCHOR: There's a vacancy on the bands at 162 kHz and some amateurs in France are looking to fill it. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH has more.

JEREMY: If you're a licensed amateur in France and eager to get on the air at 162 kHz, you have until January 16th to let the CSA, the French Superior Council of Audio-visual, know you support its use as an amateur frequency.

Radio France, the public radio broadcaster, ceased operations on the frequency at the end of 2016 and the CSA is seeking expressions of interest for another radio service there. The frequency had been in use by France Inter, one of the public broadcaster's channels. The discontinued service had been announced as a cost-saving measure.

Their departure from the frequency created an opportunity for hams and the CSA will be seeking input during the first half of January about amateur use. Again, you have until January 16th to let them know.

Visit the authority's website at where there is a link to download details about expressing interest.

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




SKEETER/ANCHOR:  In Australia there is going to be a new band at 60 meters but when? Hear these details from Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp VK4BB.

GRAHAM: No matter where in the world you're listening to Amateur Radio Newsline, if you've been waiting to get a contact on 60 meters to VK land, you need to wait just a little bit longer. Although the updated Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan was planned to take effect on January 1st, the 5.3 MHz band is not yet ready for prime time. Administrative and regulatory details need to be brought up to date before the new spectrum plan can kick in. The International Telecommunications Union has already approved the worldwide allocation on a secondary basis for amateurs, for the band between 5351.5 and 5366.5 kHz.

There are still details to be ironed out. So be patient. Our regulatory body, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, has many "T"s to cross and many "i"s to dot before we can begin to QSO with the world on the new 60 meter amateur band at 5.3 Megs.     

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


BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station.  We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the W9YPC repeater serving Markham, Illinois.



SKEETER/ANCHOR: American Indian tribes now have their own Net. If you want to join them, listen to this report from Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun WD9GCO.

PAUL: There is a new HF activity starting this weekend, and itís hosted by a very special organization. The National Tribal Amateur Radio Association will hold the first of what they hope are many more nets this Saturday, January 7th, at 0100 UTC on 3925 MHz to start.

I spoke with Association president Nathan Nixon, N7NAN about their plans:

NIXON: What we're starting is our first HF net that we hope to use to not only kinda bring people together but also to put out information as to what's going on out there in Indian country, ways that people can help. You know, through National Tribal we've never said "no" to anybody joining and it's open to everybody so ultimately we just want to get the word out there that hey, most everybody, regardless of where you live in the US, either has tribal nations within their state or if you're in a state like Arizona where I'm at we've got 22 of them. And they're close - there may be community members who are ham radio operators you may not be aware of, but every tribal community I've been out to absolutely loves what amateur radio is and what it's all about so I'm hoping with this net we can move forwards from once a month to twice a month and kinda spread the word about Indian country and bring folks together and go from there.

PAUL:NTARAís membership is growing. According to Nixon.....

NIXON: ....As of January 1, we are sitting right at 482 across the U.S. That's all 50 states. Out of those 482, we've got 21 of the 567 recognized tribal nations represented.    

PAUL: The mission of the net will evolve over time, according to Nixon:

NIXON: So the first one is more just to - actually, the first couple - will be more to test the waters and see, you know, which band, what time, that sort of stuff works for everybody else.  I'm hoping that by April or May that we'll have a list of people who check in on a regular basis so we'll do check-ins and then with some of the resources that I have it's mainly to share information as to what's going on out there. So if I know that the Navajo Nation has a big fair going on or something like that I'll put that out there for people. Either that, or there's like emergency communications events that Indian Country's doing or anything like that, that's what we're going to start putting out there after I'd say probably the third net after we get our feet wet and kind of figure out which band's going to work the best.

PAUL: Nixon said that while the first net will be on 75 meters, they are also going to try one on 40 and one on 20 to see what works best for most hams.

You can learn more about the Association and follow the progress of the net by joining the Facebook page - just search for National Tribal Amateur Radio Association or look for them on Twitter under @NatlTribalHams. They have a QRZ page under W7NTV.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, Iím Paul Braun, WD9GCO



SKEETER/ANCHOR: The Sisterhood of Amateur Radio has honored one of their own: a founding mother of the group. We hear details from Amateur Radio Newsline's Geri Goodrich KF5KRN.

GERI: Elizabeth Bigley KD7RIN has been honored by the group she helped create. Elizabeth, who cofounded the Sisterhood of Amateur Radio in Nevada, has become a recipient of its 2016 Legacy Award. The honors were conferred on her during the group's holiday luncheon in Henderson, Nevada, on December 17.

Elizabeth has been a part of SOAR leadership since it first came into being in July 2009. She is also president of the group's Las Vegas chapter.

The Legacy Award honors women who have contributed to supporting the female involvement in the advancement and continuation of amateur radio.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Geri Goodrich KF5KRN.



SKEETER: Ham radio will help mark another 100th anniversary this year - the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jason Daniels VK2LAW has the details:

JASON: The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 100 years ago, is often called a defining moment for Canada. Though soldiers paid a terrible price with their lives, the Canadian World War One victory in France in 1917 is said to mark the birth of Canada as a nation.

Special Event Station VE100VIMY will be calling throughout each of Canada's 13 call areas from now through March 30th. All of this will culminate in the actual battle commemoration in April with stations located at the Vimy Memorial site in France, operating around the clock.

The special event was organized by the Vimy Commemorative Station Society in British Columbia. For details visit

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jason Daniels VK2LAW

SKEETER/ANCHOR: By the way, Canadians are also celebrating another milestone: it's been 150 years since Canada was formed out of the union of the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada. Instead of lighting candles, however, the Yukon Canam Contest Club VY1AAA is using the special call XK150YUKON now through March 1 to mark the occasion. Then, from March through year's end, listen for the station as either CI1AAA or VY1AAA. Send QSLs via KC1CWF. All contacts will be confirmed on LOTW.

Meanwhile, Canadian amateurs also get a birthday gift - the chance to use special call sign prefixes of CF, CG, CH or CI to celebrate this year.

In the world of DX, Stan, K5GO, will be active as ZF9CW from Cayman Brac Island between January 22nd and February 23rd. He will be operating as well during the CQWW 160m CW contest on January 29th through January 31st. Listen for him also during the ARRL DX CW Contest on February 18th and 19th. Send QSLs via his home callsign direct.

Listen for Mike/W1USN and Bob/AA1M who will be active as HP/W1USN and HP/AA1M, respectively, from Panama between February 10th and February 22nd. They'll be on various HF bands using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. Send QSL cards to Mike via W1USN direct or LoTW. Send QSL cards to Bob via AA1M direct or LoTW.

Erwin, PY2QI, will be active as PY2QI/PY0F from Fernando de Noronha Island (SA-003) between February 15 to February 21st. He will be on 40-10 meters including the 30/17/12m bands using CW only. Send QSL cards via his home callsign direct.



SKEETER/ANCHOR: And finally, Newsline asks: When is it too cold for Field Day in the U.S.? Never, if you ask this hardy bunch, as Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp explains, in our final report for this week.

NEIL: Bundle up! You may not think that Field Day in the middle of winter is a good idea, but 10 years after the first one was held - in January 2007 - more and more amateurs in the U.S. are warming to the idea, joining hams in Australia and the UK in this practice. In the States, Winter Field Day 2017 begins on Saturday January 28 at 1900 UTC and runs through Sunday January 29 at the same time. It's happening on all bands and in all modes except the WARC bands.

So what's the point of it? As the Winter Field Day website itself notes, disasters - like the weather - cannot always be predicted accurately and having a Field Day such as this one, in more challenging weather conditions, is good preparation for the real thing when it happens.

For this Winter Field Day, guidelines allow solo operators, pairs and teams and can be done as an outing, a remote location, or even from home - although there are bonus points for outdoor and remote operation with a noncommercial power source. There will also be at least one bonus station.

The exchange has changed from last year, however, so please visit the website at to get the specifics before getting on the air and calling "CQ WFD."

Just be sure to leave your flipflops and your beverage cooler at home -- unless the winter weather turns TRULY unpredictable!

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Neil Rapp WB9VPG


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; CNN; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Ham Radio University; the National Tribal Amateur Radio Association; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; Sisterhood of Amateur Radio; The Vimy Commemorative Station Society; Winter Field Day Association; WTWW Shortwave; and you our listeners, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline. Please send emails to our address at More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's only official website located at

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Skeeter Nash N5ASH in Topeka Kansas saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

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