Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 2050

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2050 for Friday, February 10, 2017

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2050 with a release date of Friday, February 10, 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Hams test drive an experimental band in the U.S. Young amateurs prepare for School Club Roundup -- and we hear from the winner of the Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure's essay competition. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2050 comes your way right now.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with an update on a ham band that is still experimental -- at least in the U.S. Until 630 meters becomes mainstream in the States as it is so many places elsewhere in the world there are always events like the Mid-Winter 630-meter Operating Activity. Here's Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash N5ASH with the details of the second such event, held earlier this month.

SKEETER: Conditions on 630 meters were average, according to Fritz Raab W1FR, coordinator of the ARRL'S 630 Meter Experimental group, but he told Amateur Radio Newsline that participants enjoyed the second annual mid-winter activity on the band. 

According to a summary from John Langridge KB5NJD, WSPR activity was at an all-time high and there were abundant trans-Pacific openings. Canadian stations were eager participants as well on their newest band although hams in British Columbia had complications from snow and ice conditions. A number of stations were also active using CW and JT9.

Raab had said previously that as the solar cycle has gone into decline, MF propagation has improved, especially in the paths to VK and JA.

Now it is a matter of waiting. Countries permitting 630-meter band operation include Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Finland, Canada, Poland and Bulgaria. Raab said hams in the U.S. have been hoping for the FCC to permit normal operation on 472 kHz to 479 kHz since 2004 and so they are accustomed to sitting things out. We hope their patience pays off.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Skeeter Nash N5ASH.




ANCHOR/STEPHEN: Meet Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO, a  young ham who just qualified for a DX adventure in Costa Rica with a winning essay about ham radio's meaning in his life. Let Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, introduce him to you.

DON: Last November YDXA, the Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure announced an exciting essay competition for young radio amateurs between the ages of 12 and 18 describing their involvement in, personal future plans for, and importance of Amateur Radio.  I am very pleased to introduce the winner, Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO from my part of the world, New Orleans.  Hi Bryant, welcome to Newsline!

BR - Hello Mr. Don, how are you?

DW - I'm well, thank you.  How old are you Bryant?

BR - I'm 12 years old, about to be 13.
DW - When is your birthday?

BR - My birthday is on Saturday.

DW - Well, Happy Birthday!  How long have you been a ham?

BR - One and a half years.

DW - What got you interested in ham radio?

BR - [long answer]

DW - How did you hear about the YDXA essay contest?

BR - [long answer]

DW - Tell me about how you found out that you had won the essay contest.

BR - [long answer]  

DW - Quite an exciting club meeting!  Now besides the trip what else was included in the prize?

BR - [gear list]

DW - And what license class are you?

BR - General studying for Extra

DW - So you can use this right now!  Did you already have an HF station?

BR - Yes, ...

DW - And when is the trip to Costa Rica?

BR - August 3rd through August 8th.

DW - Very exciting!  Let's plug your local club.  What club is that?

BR - Jefferson Amateur Radio Club, Metairie, Louisiana

DW - Well congratulations Bryant!  We want to check back with you when you come back and we'll look for you on the air from Tango India

BR - Thank you!

DON: A very impressive young radio amateur.  I've said it many times... there are way more good apples in the basket than bad and if Bryant is any indication of the folks who are going to be running the world when we are done with it we will be in very good hands.  Congratulations Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO.

If you would like to hear my extended conversation with Bryant just click on the Extra tab on the Newsline website.

From New Orleans, I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW.

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: If you know anyone who's interested in the DX adventure in August, applications are still being accepted for team members. They will also be available at YDXAís HamventionÆ booth in May.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Some other bright young hams will be on the air this month as part of Radio Scouting, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Stearns, NE4RD.

BILL'S REPORT: This week in Radio Scouting we have one activation of the K2BSA call sign and two activations from Scout Camps on the Air.

Jeffrey Kent, KB0GVI, is the control operator for the K2BSA portable 0 station at the Old Capitol Valley District Winter Camporee at Lake Iowa State Park in Landora, IA, on February 26.

Chuck McBride, WS5ADV, is the control operator for WS5BSA at the Troop 20 Hut in Oklahoma City, OK, on February 11th.  Charles will have the scouts active on 20 through 10 m on SSB from a Yaesu Ft-840 if the bands are open.

Chuck will also be activating WS5BSA from the Chickasaw National Recreation Area on February 18th.  This time they'll be active with a Yaesu FT-817 on 20m and 17m throughout the day.  They will also be monitoring the SWIRA repeater system.

For more information on K2BSA and radio scouting, please visit

For Amateur Radio Newsline and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, this is Bill Stearns NE4RD.


Pista HA5AO is in Lesotho until February 26th as a volunteer at orphanages using the call sign 7P8EUDXF to celebrate 30 years of the European DX Foundation. He is on the air in his spare time. QSL cards go via OQRS to HA5AO.

You can find Michael DF8AN on the air as CE0Y/DF8AN from Easter Isla nd until February 17th. Listen for him operating on CW and on Digital modes. He will move on to Juan Fernandez Island after February 21st and operate as CE0Z/DF8AN. QSLs go via his home call.




Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the K7MRG repeater in Prescott, Arizona on Tuesday evenings.


ANCHOR/STEPHEN: The Ladies of the Net Radio Club KM6CIR have a big day scheduled aboard a historic World War II ship. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Damron, N8TMW has the details.

JIM: A lot of history has sailed aboard the USS Hornet Museum Ship which now makes Alameda, California its permanent home. The Naval aircraft carrier, formerly the USS Kearsage, was known in more recent decades for recovering the Apollo 11 astronauts following their return to Earth after the first moon landing mission in 1969.

On Saturday, February 18th, the Ladies of the Net Radio Club KM6CIR will get closer to the ship's renowned history when they begin operating from the on-board radio station NB6GC beginning at 1900 UTC. The club, an informal net that meets weekday mornings on 40 meters, is based in Union City, California.

The World War II ship, which was decommissioned in 1970, has been a public museum since 1998 and it became home to the US Hornet Amateur Radio Club in 2002.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Damron, N8TMW.



ANCHOR/STEPHEN: Of course, some hams would rather try for radio contact aboard a smaller boat, like a ferry, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jason Daniels VK2LAW.

JASON: Ferry boats aren't exactly battleships but a few of the ones in Sydney Harbor are going to see some competetive action soon during the Sydney Amateur Radio Ferry contest on the 12th of March. The Waverley Amateur Radio Society VK2BV is hosting its second annual ferry contest, which is a VHF/UHF event utilizing both simplex frequencies and repeaters. The competition invites hams to contact other hams on hand-held receivers while on any of the ferries or wharves in and around Sydney Harbor.

The event takes place from 10 am to 4 pm local time. There will be a number of honors including the coveted Worked All Ferries award. So if you're waiting for your ship - or perhaps your ferry - to come in, consider the purchase of an Opal Card for $2.50 which permits a full day's travel on board.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jason Daniels, VK2LAW.



ANCHOR/STEPHEN: OK, hams, you have some homework to do as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

NEIL: School Club Roundup is just around the corner once again.  Itís time to support our school ham radio clubs by giving students a call on the air!  The on-air activity, in a contest-like format, starts at 1300 UTC Monday, February 13th and lasts through 2359 UTC on Friday, February 17th. Lew Malchick, N2RQ, the eventís organizer from the sponsoring Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club, or LIMARC, explains the goal of School Club Roundup. 

LEW: I constantly run into people who say we need new hamsÖ young hams.  And, one of the ways to get them is to introduce them to ham radio. Get ëem on the air. And School Club Roundup is one of the ways to get them on the air. Schools of course are the biggest attraction, biggest multiplier in the scoring, and all of thatÖ but Itís not about the scoring, really. Itís just about the experience.  You will hear elementary school age kids operating like theyíve been on the air for a decade. And youíll hear kids that have never touched a microphone or [worked] a digital contact before.  But the whole idea is to give them the experience. And hopefully, sow the seeds of some new operators. 

NEIL:  In order for the kids to operate, they need some stations to contact. 

LEW:  If we depended only on the schools talking to other schools, it wouldnít be very much. You get on the air especially with the recent conditions, youíre not going to make that many contacts.  So we need the individuals.  We want everyone to get on and have some fun!  And so, we have that opportunity.  The other thing weíd like, since we've had some complaints in recent years, is for individual operators and maybe some net people and stuff like that, to be courteous.  Recognize that a lot of these operators are very inexperienced. Give them a little slack, and be a little bit more courteous than you might otherwise be...or patient. 

NEIL:  For recommended frequencies and complete rules, visit  And I look forward to hearing YOU on the air. 

Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, Iím Neil Rapp, WB9VPG. 


STEPHEN: And finally, we close out this week's report with a special request from a good friend, Hap Holly KC9RP, who spoke with Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Braun WD9GCO.

PAUL/ANCHOR: Most hams take the written word for granted. Whether itís an online article, something in QST or CQ, or perhaps a magazine article from a particular collectorís club on the history of a radio.

But not everyone can do that. Take, for example, Hap Holly, KC9RP. 

Hap is not only the founder of The Radio Amateur Information Network, or RAIN Report broadcast, but a longtime contributor and supporter of Newsline as well. Heís also blind. For him, capturing and presenting amateur radio information and history in audio form is not only fun, itís critical. That is also the reason that he records every forum speaker at Dayton every year and presents them later in his broadcast.

I recently spoke to Hap about RAIN and a specific project he needs help with:

HAP: I am concerned that, as time goes on, we are losing more and more of our radio ìpioneers.î After all, we just lost one of my mentors, Bill Pasternak, co-founder of Newsline, last year and every year it seems that there are more and more of those who were involved with ham radio manufacturers back in the Sixties and Seventies who are becoming Silent Keys. And I want to document ñ I want to archive ñ interviews with as many of these people as I can from manufacturers who are no longer around. I.E., Hammarlund, National, Heathkit, Lafayette, Allied, Gotham, Hallicrafters, you name it. 

I have interviewed a few ñ Herb Johnson from Swan and Atlas ñ many back in the early 90s ñ Wes Schum of Central Electronics, heís gone, and it concerns me because I, as a blind person, do not have the access to some of this history. Oh, yeah, if you look around on the Internet enough maybe youíll find it, but I want to have it easily accessible in audio format so folks can play it in their own ham shack, put it on a net, play it in a radio club ñ that sort of thing. And thatís what the RAIN Report is for. 

PAUL/ANCHOR: We here at Amateur Radio Newsline agree with Hap that itís important to document the history of our hobby, and we also feel that is best served by speaking directly with the people who were involved with that history.

If you can help Hap with information or a contact, please visit the newly-redesigned website at If youíre interested in listening to or carrying RAIN:

HAP: The RAIN Report does update every week, usually on Saturday. And anyone can transmit it on amateur radio ñ you donít have to ask me for permission ñ and there is a break in the middle, of course because itís formatted to be transmitted by amateur radio.

PAUL: We appreciate all that Hap has done for Newsline over the years, and weíd like to help him, too.

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

NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure; Fritz Raab W1FR; Hap Holly and the RAIN Report; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ.COM; South African Radio League; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; USS Hornet Amateur Radio Club; the Wireless Institute of Australia; WTWW Shortwave; the YL Beam Newsletter; 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 Stephen Kinford N8WB in Wadsworth, Ohio saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

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