Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 2049

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2049 for Friday, February 3, 2017

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2049 with a release date of Friday, February 3, 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Radio amateurs help out during Inauguration Week. On Maui, a Volunteer Examiner hits the milestone of 100 license exams -- and World Radio Day is coming! All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2049 comes your way right now.



ANCHOR/PAUL: We begin this week's report with a look back at Inauguration Week through the eyes of some amateurs who were there in Washington, helping manage communication and crowds. Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp WB9VPG, spoke to two of them.

NEIL: Jeff Dahn, KB3ZUK, of Rockville, Maryland, activated every National Parks On the Air location in the Washington, DC area last year. That, combined with his prior law enforcement experience, landed him as a radio operator for the National Park Service during the presidential inauguration, as well as the Womenís March on Washington.  A net control site was needed on three days notice, and Dahn was able to designate his clubís W3HAC facility to serve as the net control station site for Amateur Radio operators helping those arriving for the Womenís March. They connected the clubís command post with the National Park Service Incident Command Post via ham radio. 
Art Feller, W4ART, was the primary net control at W3HAC.  
ART: In a population the size of a good sized city, you expect normally problems to occur. And in fact, they did.  There were times that the crowd got so dense, that we got a call from the National Park Service saying please spread them out, and they took care of that.  So mostly, well itís entirely, looking after people, and helping the managers keep everyone healthy, safe, and well. 
NEIL:  Jeff Dahn noted that ham radio was an essential means of communication for the march. 
JEFF: There were things that happened that just simply would not have happened without the service of the hams.  And even the march organizers, and thingsÖ that was their only way to communicate many times was because they had a ham radio operator at their hip.  At one point they said, you know, ìWeíre gonna march!î  And then another time they said, ìWeíre not gonna march.  Thereís just too many people.î And then the mayor of D.C. showed up and said, ìNo! We are gonna march!  We didnít come here not to march.î So there were all these start again, stop again things.  And, all of these things happenedÖ that I mean I could go on and on.  I was there for 32 hours between 3 days.  But, particularly like I said, there was a lot of involvement that the ham radio operators did. 
NEIL: The crowds grew, which created a safety concern. 
JEFF: At one point, the crowd was so large that we were notifying people just for officer safety and first responder safety that if they going to go into those areas, there was a strong likelihood that they may not be able to get out quickly.  So we passed that information over to the W3HAC command center and to the net control so that their folks could pass that on to the volunteer march marshals and volunteers. 
NEIL:  Despite cellular telephone services bringing in additional networks to attempt to handle the communications of the crowd, the phone system became overloaded.  Hams were there to communicate when all else failed. 
JEFF:  You know, we as hamsÖ we know what we do.  But the general public, they just donít understand how valuable it was.  And when you double the size of a city in a dayÖ you knowÖ typical resources that are there to deal with that, are just not available.  And thatís where hams step in and fill the void.  And itís just amazing what they do. 
NEIL:  For Amateur Radio Newsline, Iím Neil Rapp, WB9VPG. 



ANCHOR/PAUL: Allan Steinfeld W2TN never ran the New York City Marathon but he was always with its athletes every step of the way. The longtime radio licensee, who was the marathon's former race director, became a Silent Key on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

An avid athlete himself who had run in the Honolulu and Boston Marathons, Steinfeld worked alongside New York City race founder Fred Lebow starting as technical director of the marathon and later as its president. The race had a significant amateur radio component since the 1970s, when the late Steve Mendelsohn W2ML, formerly WA2DHF, mobilized a team for radio support. Allan, licensed since 1959, upgraded to Amateur Extra in later years and chose W2TN as his call.
A sprinter more than a long-distance runner, he never took part in New York's own famous race. But he served the race over the years as timekeeper, president and then CEO, stepping down in 2005 for health reasons. Runner's World magazine described him as an "innovative technical genius." He had been responsible for the amateur radio communications network that served the race's 26.2-mile route.

Allan Steinfeld was 70.



ANCHOR/PAUL: World Radio Day is coming, and London's getting a sneak preview. We hear more from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: World Radio Day London will be held on Friday the 10th of February, between 3 and 8 p.m. local time, just a few days before World Radio Day. That global event, organized by UNESCO, is devoted to exploring radio in all its incarnations. It's a day for education and celebration among industry professionals, academics, radio enthusiasts and people curious about the art and science of radio. The worldwide event is in its sixth year.

The London event will be a free radio fair hosted by SOAS Radio, with exhibits, workshops and speakers from the BBC, Refugee Radio Brighton and the University of Sunderland. The event is being cohosted by the Communication for Development Network and Centre of African Studies.

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




ANCHOR/PAUL: One radio amateur on the island of Maui has just distinguished himself as a Volunteer Examiner. He's been overseeing exams since 1982. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams VK4JJW with the details.

JOHN: You've heard of the Worked All States and Worked All Counties awards but what's it like being honored with the "Administered 100 Exams" award? Ask Mel Fukunaga (Foo-Koo-NAH-Gah) KH6H, an amateur in Maui who was recently honored for his work as a Volunteer Examiner with just that prize. Mel has overseen the license testing process on Maui since 1982 and on December 2 he showed up for his 100th VE session. He administers the exams three times a year - in April, August and December.

Mel was given a personalized "V-E-C-C" award engraved with his name by the Maui Amateur Radio Club KH6RS. Celebrating the occasion, the blog on the club's website noted [quote] "If you received your license on Maui in the last 25 years or so, you most likely have tested with Mel." [ENDQUOTE]

Of course, when he's not giving tests or training volunteers to assist with emergency communications, Mel hosts the Maui Emergency Net on Monday nights on the Hawaii State Civil Defense VHF Repeater Network.

Congratulations Mel, from all of us here at Amateur Radio Newsline. I'm John Williams VK4JJW.




Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the W0CRA repeater system in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs on Sundays at 9 a.m. local time.



PAUL/ANCHOR: There are quite a few ham radio clubs around the world. But few of them can claim to be as old as W-1-Y-U, the Amateur Radio Club at Yale University, now in its 85th year.

I spoke with James Surprenant, AB1DQ, who works for the Yale School of Medicine and is the club president:

SURPRENANT: I became involved with the Yale Radio Club last year in the Spring of 2016. I started working at Yale the previous summer, and I was curious to whether Yale had a radio club or not. So I searched around on the website and found that they did in fact have one but it was somewhat inactive, so I reached out to the officers at the time and got together with Ed, W1YSM who is a faculty member I work with and we've been working on reviving the club and making it a more active club.

PAUL/ANCHOR: I asked Surprenant how the club has fared over the years:

SURPRENANT: Like a lot of college clubs, the Yale club has waxed and waned in student involvement since the year when it was first founded in 1931. Around 1990 it actually lost its status as a student club, it was no longer falling under the Dean's Office, and in fact the Dean's Office took away our last fixed station on campus.

PAUL/ANCHOR:  One of the ideas to get the students involved was to hold a introduction to ham radio workshop on campus, which they did last Fall. They talked about the history and gave demos. I asked how it went:

SURPRENANT: It was well-received - we had over twenty participants for the fifteen slots that were available and we gained at least one new member from that session. K-C-1-G-T-O, a new licensee, Han Zhang actually who's a senior engineering student at Yale joined the club and sat for his Element 2 and 3 test at our VE session and earned his General.

PAUL/ANCHOR: In todayís internet-connected world, getting young people interested in radio can be challenging. I asked Surprenant how the club is approaching recruitment:

SURPRENANT: Some of the things we've discovered that students are interested in is the whole builder/maker aspect of ham radio. If you do hands-on projects like kitbuilding, Arduino, micro-controllers - they're interested in that. We've also discovered that young students are also fascinated by fox hunting and strangely enough, they're actually interested in passing traffic and how the NTS works! So those are areas where we are targeting our programs  and this month we're returning to the CEID and we're going to be doing a build-a-thon with our student members there and we're going to build a 20-meter QRP regenerative kit with our students.

PAUL/ANCHOR: Hopefully, Yaleís plan to work with other school clubs will help to build a network of ideas that, in turn, will increase the number of young people discovering the hobby.



PAUL: The Chinese calendar tells us that the Year of the Rooster has just begun, but if you ask one enthusiastic bunch of hams, they'll tell you the Year of the Rooster has been going on since 1957. Amateur Radio Newsline's Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT talked with the Chief Rooster of the Rooster Net for the latest story in our series, "Nets of Note."

CARYN: A flock of hams has been roosting on 80 meters for more than 60 years and yes, that's something to crow about. So says Chief Rooster Mike Errigo, WB3EQW, also known as Rooster Number Four hundred eleven.

MIKE: "The Rooster Net started just with a bunch of guys getting together on 75 meters back in the late 50s. One of the wives of one of these guys in this group said 'You guys get up early and you talk so early in the morning, you must be like a bunch of roosters.' And that's where it got its name, and that's where it got its start."

CARYN: Check-ins and chat begin every day just as the sun comes up. To avoid ruffling feathers, though, there's no talk of sex, politics or religion.

MIKE: "We hope we're just a fun group. We don't do emergency communications and we'll clear the frequency if the ARRL needs it or it is needed for some emergency. We're just a ragchew group."

CARYN: Of course, there a few membership requirements. You need to be alert by 6 a.m. Eastern time, complete 20 check-ins in a 90-day period and, oh yes, there's that very formal Rooster initiation ceremony.

MIKE: "Stand up on the back of your chair, flap your wings, announce your call and crow like a rooster, remembering that this is radio, this isn't television. The Lone Ranger when he was on radio, much as we hate to admit it, probably didn't have a horse in the studio when they made their show. It's the same with us. It's just theater of the mind."

CARYN: On this net, the early bird gets the frequency. Well, sometimes. For more information, visit or find them at 3990 kHz any morning. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT.

ANCHOR/PAUL: Meanwhile, if you know of a net with an interesting story to tell, email us at newsline at and we might just feature it as one of our next Nets of Note.



PAUL: In Australia, the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Darwin is being marked with a special event station. Amateur Radio Newsline's Graham Kemp VK4BB has details:

GRAHAM: Japanese air raids on Darwin and northern Australia during World War II marked the single largest assault on the nation by any foreign power. It was an attack that practically destroyed the city. Special event callsign VI8BOD will commemorate this important piece of wartime history as the Darwin Amateur Radio Club begins operations on Saturday, February 18th, out of an old Qantas Hangar in a Darwin suburb.The station will be on the air until the 28th of March.

The special operation is a reminder of what happened on February 19th,1942 as Japanese aircraft staged two air raids, planned and led by the same commander who had directed the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor.

Twenty-one of the 46 ships in Darwin Harbor were sunk in the first raid and two more were sunk off Bathurst Island. In response to the Japanese assault, hundreds of thousands of members of the U.S. military were stationed in the Northern Territory.

The Darwin club, VK8DA, has been meeting since 1966 in the Top End.

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



In the world of DX, listen for Leo PP1CZ who is on the air from Fernando da Noronha Island until the 8th of February. He is operating on 80 through 10 meters using mainly CW but some SSB and RTTY as well. His callsign is PY0F/PP1CZ. Send QSL cards via Club Log OQRS.

Until February 14th, you can work a group of Italian operators using the callsign TL8TT from the Central African Republic. They are on all bands 160 ñ 10 meters. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Harald DF2WO is signing as 9X2AW from Kigali, Rwanda this month until March 11th. Send QSL cards to M0OXO.



ANCHOR/PAUL: We end this newscast with a story about how the FCC is bringing Novice call signs back. Well.......yes and no. Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks AE5DW tells us what's really going on.

DON: When is a Novice call sign not a Novice call sign? The answer is simple: When it's not! There are no more Novice licenses being granted but don't think for a moment that this doesn't mean the old call signs have gone away -- because they haven't. In fact, they're starting to turn up again. Just ask Brandi Frame, KN4AFW, who was among those to get one of them last month. According to callsign historian Pete Varounis NL7XM, this freshly minted Technician doesn't exactly have a freshly minted callsign: it was first assigned 62 years ago to a 15-year-old boy named Chase P. Hearn in Raleigh, North Carolina.

So what's going on here? The FCC hasn't gone retro or nostalgic, it's just issuing callsigns sequentially, as it always has. District 4, where Brandi lives, simply exhausted its supply of "KMs" and by the time she and the others took their test, the FCC had moved on to the sequence of "KN" callsigns. Sure, this has caused some oldtimers to do a doubletake -- one of them was Brandi's husband Andrew Frame WD4RCC, who remembers the old Novice Class -- but as Pete points out, "KN" assignments are going to become increasingly commonplace as other districts exhaust their "KM" licenses too.

By the way said Pete, the original Novice license-holder, Chase, is still on the air - operating now from Virginia - and his callsign of K4AFW is simply an upgrade of the 1954 callsign now assigned to Brandi. Everything old is new again!

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


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Darwin Amateur Radio Club; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; The New York Times; National Archives of Australia; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ.COM; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; World Radio Day; WTWW Shortwave; the Yale Radio Club; 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 Paul Braun WD9GCO in Valparaiso, Indiana saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

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