Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2139 for Friday, October 26 2018

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2139 for Friday, October 26 2018

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2139 with a release date of Friday, October 26, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A noted DXer is detained in the Republic of Chad. Hams help Florida rebound from Hurricane Michael — and Halloween QSOs are yours for the taking, in Transylvania, Louisiana. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2139 comes your way right now.



Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2139 for Friday, October 26 2018

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2139 with a release date of Friday, October 26, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A noted DXer is detained in the Republic of Chad. Hams help Florida rebound from Hurricane Michael — and Halloween QSOs are yours for the taking, in Transylvania, Louisiana. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2139 comes your way right now.



DON: This is Don Wilbanks AE5DW with breaking news. Our top story this week takes us to the Republic of Chad where Ken Opskar LA7GIA has been released following his detention while on DXpedition there. He received word from authorities as Newsline went to production this week. His DXpedition is over but he is heading home to Norway. Correspondent Ed Durrant DD5LP tells what happened:

ED: Ken was barely one day into his operation as a single operator TT8KO from the 31st most wanted DX entity when local police ordered him to cease operations on October 10th pending an equipment inspection by the head of police himself. His detention in Chad went well past his scheduled end of operations on October 21st. He told Amateur Radio Newsline in an email on Oct. 23 that the Norwegian embassy had stepped in to talk to local officials. Meanwhile, he was safe and comfortable in his hotel, posting updates on the DX-World website to reassure the amateur community that their emailed wishes were bringing him good cheer. By his earlier accounts, police had found all of his documents to be in order but his detention continued. Ken?’s earlier post on the website said he believed that Chad?s telecommunications regulator, ARCEP, had failed to inform local police of his plan to operate a DXpedition. As such, his gear had been disconnected and he had no further access to his radios or antennas.
According to his online log, Ken had made 2135 QSOs in CW during his one day on the air.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I?m Ed Durrant DD5LP.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In the U.S., as the Florida Panhandle continues to piece lives and communications back together after Hurricane Michael slammed into the northern part of the state, hams assisting the Northern Florida Section of ARES have returned home after two weeks in the field working five-day rotations. Section Emergency Coordinator Karl Martin KG4HBN told Amateur Radio Newsline that the Florida Department of Emergency Management covered communications from shelters to county and state Emergency Operations Centers. The hams relied mostly on HF – using 80 meters and 40 meters — relying on SARNet, the statewide amateur radio network of UHF linked voice repeaters, as backup for handling traffic and other communications. Karl said that for two weeks, there were more than 50 operators either deployed or handling traffic and serving as net control at stations outside the affected areas. Efforts focused on the counties of Bay, Gulf, Calhoun, Jackson, Library and Gadsden, all of which were heavily hit. He told Newsline [quote] “Times like this make me proud to be an amateur radio operator when people from all over come to lend their skills, equipment and lives to help others in need.”

As restoration continues in this devastated part of the American south, Newsline will provide updates. In the meantime, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker went on social media to formally recognize all hams’ contributions in the disaster response effort.



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: A personal callsign for one ham in the UK has turned out to be a possible “first” for the regulator issuing it. Here’s Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: For John Gascoigne M5ET, an amateur radio operator in the UK, almost everything about ham radio has held special significance. He received his foundation licence with the callsign M6XLX on 12th Dec. 2012 – or 12/12/12 ? and enjoys taking note of the distinctive date.

After a number of licence upgrades, John received his most recent callsign on the 12th again ? in this case the 12th of October, just earlier this month.

M5ET is a personalised callsign which has significance for Ofcom as well as for him: It is believed to be the first M5-plus-two letter callsign issued by the UK communications regulator and John chose it for personal reasons, he told Newsline.

John works hard to make sure others find radio significant too. He has been active in helping create the GB2GP permanent special event station at Gilwell Park, the UK headquarters for The Scout Association. The station hosts five major events, giving between 10 and 20 thousand youngsters a chance to spend time in the shack. John also helps organize a casual contest team there.

Last year, GB2GP was host to YOTA 2017, a week-long gathering of 80 youngsters representing 26 different countries. He also manages a UK-wide national unit to encourage more adult leaders in scouting, especially those with an interest in amateur radio. Outside of scouting, he belongs to the UK ground team of ARISS, RAYNET-UK and the Camb-Hams amateur radio group. In his spare time he is keen on AMSAT, HF SSB and HF data operations and the occasional contest.

So if you hear M5ET calling QRZ, that?ll be John with his new distinctive call sign. Answer his call: No doubt you?ll find plenty to talk about.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I?m Jeremy Boot G4NJH.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Speaking of call signs, a few more hams were assigned theirs this month in South Africa after great success at their Radio Amateur Exams. Here’s Jim Meachen ZL2BHF with more on that story.

JIM M: Congratulations to the newest amateur radio licence-holders in South Africa. The results of the Oct. 13 Radio Amateurs Exam were released on Friday the 19th of October and from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria the candidates did well. Seventy-five people passed the Class A exam, earning the right to a ZS or ZR prefix. Class A is equivalent to the Full licence in the UK and allows an operating power of up to 1 kilowatt. Four candidates passed the Class B exam, which permits 100 watts of operation and is equivalent to the UK Foundation licence. The new Class B licence-holders, who must be younger than 20, will be assigned call signs with a ZU prefix. They will be permitted to keep that licence until their 25th birthday.
South Africa?s licencing exams are only given twice a year. The next tests will not be given until May.

We welcome the nation?s newst hams to the bands.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I?m Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.



BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the W7GAA repeater in Bullhead City, Arizona on Friday nights at 7:30 local time.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: More than a dozen YLs spent a recent weekend on a drydocked submarine in Oklahoma calling QRZ. It was a first for some of them but it won’t be the last as Jim Damron N8TMW tells us.

JIM: There?s nothing like calling QRZ from a drydocked submarine in Oklahoma to make for a successful weekend. A group of 14 YLs from Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma climbed aboard the USS Batfish in Muskogee where they operated on the HF bands for three days beginning October 12th and even slept on board as guests of the USS Batfish Radio Club WW2SUB. With the help of the club?s host Wade Harris KF5IF, they hung antennas and made use of the club?s portable tower and one of its three radio systems, and even set up satellite systems.
According to a post the South Canadian Amateur Radio website, the submarine experience marked the first time some of the YLs got on the HF bands.
By the end of the weekend the team had logged 350 contacts while honoring two lost subs, the USS Wahoo and the USS Dorado.
One highlight of the YLs? experience however was something perhaps a bit more terrestrial: Virginia NV5F played her bagpipes for the team.
According to Mark Kleine N5HZR, the YLs are ready to take another dive on the submarine next October but meanwhile are looking for a similar site for a weekend operation in Dallas, Texas.
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I?m Jim Damron N8TMW



STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Are you preparing for the ARRL’s RTTY Roundup in January? Kevin Trotman N5PRE tells us why FT8 enthusiasts are excited too.

KEVIN: If you?re looking forward to the 2019 ARRL RTTY Roundup and you?re also a fan of FT 8, you?ll be glad to know that the new FT8 protocol is being permitted in the contest to be held in January. FT8 had been excluded from this year?s contest because it was unable to manage the required exchanges, according to the ARRL. The latest version of the software which is part of the WSJT-X software suite has fixed that. So if you?re hoping to get in on the action, just be sure you are running version 2.0 or later so that you can transmit and receive the mandatory exchanges. The RTTY Roundup, which is scheduled for January 5th and 6th is considered by the ARRL to be a good opportunity for beginners to get started in digital mode contesting, which the RTTY Roundup has permitted for three decades.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I?m Kevin Trotman N5PRE.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In the UK, one SOTA activator has scaled to new heights in the international awards scheme. Here’s Jeremy Boot G4NJH with those details.

JEREMY: Worthwhile achievements take time and David Stansfield G0EVV would likely agree. The amateur who is from Morpeth in Northern England is an activator in the Summits on the Air awards scheme. After six years of activations, mostly in Scotland and Northern England, he has achieved the coveted status of Mountain Goat, the title activators receive after reaching 1,000 points. It?s been a long and intense journey for David since his first SOTA activation Place Fell G/LD-027 in the Lake District in May of 2012. He achieved the pinnacle of Mountain Goat on September 11th of this year when he activated Ben Macdui GM/ES-001 in the Cairngorms. According to his profile on QRZ, David is from an amateur radio family ? his son and daughter are both licensed, as was his father, now a Silent Key.
For Amateur Radio Newsline I?m Jeremy Boot G4NJH.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: NASA will be transmitting commemorative images on Slow Scan TV and you can tune in. Neil Rapp WB9VPG has more.

NEIL: Now here?s a TV transmission you can?t set your video recorder or DVR to capture: It?s a Slow Scan TV event aboard the International Space Station with the support of NASA?s Space, Communication and Navigation Department ? and enabled by ARISS and Russian international partners – and hams have been invited to participate.
The ARISS transmission is to begin at about 10 a.m. UTC on October 27th, and it will be a downlink of 12 images. The transmissions are being broadcast on 145.800 MHz using the PD-120 SSTV mode.
Six images will feature the educational activities of the Space, Communication and Navigation Department and the other six will commemorate such anniversaries as the first manned lunar landing in 1968 and the establishment of NASA itself in 1958. Images can be posted and viewed afterward at an ARISS website. See our website,, for a printed script of this newscast, which contains an online link to that website.

NASA has been celebrating a number of its anniversary moments all year long and this event is part of that celebration. Amateur radio clubs at various NASA centers often operate special event stations marking these milestones and hams are able to receive certificates for successful contacts.
In making its announcement about the Slow Scan TV event, ARISS cautioned that the event was subject to change and dependent on schedules and ISS crew responsibilities.
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I?m Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

In this week?s world of DX, listen for Peter, DC0KK operating as 4S7KKG in Sri Lanka starting November 1st through April 1st. He prefers operating CW and on the digital modes. Send QSLs via his home call sign, direct and by the bureau. Logs of all QSOs will be uploaded to LoTW and ClubLog.

Eric VA2IDX, will be active from Anticosti Island as VA2IDX/p from November 2nd to the 7th. Be listening on 40 and 20 meters. He will be operating QRP on SSB and possibly CW. QSL via his home call sign, direct and by the Bureau.

Meanwhile, if you can?t wait for summer in the southern hemisphere, it?s likely you also can?t wait for the Bouvet Island DXPedition of 3Y01 (Three Y Zero One). While the Rebel DX group has yet to announce the exact days of the activation on the world?s most remote island, they have identified which bands and modes they?ll be using for SSB, CW and FT8. For details visit their website bouvetoya dot org (


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Finally, with Halloween nearly here, Newsline asks: Do you stand a ghost of a chance for some good contacts on HF? Mike Askins KE3CXP has the answer.

MIKE: What?s scarier than an encounter with the walking dead? An encounter with the HF bands in the same condition. Short of hosting an exorcism, your best option might just be to hit ?Push To Talk? anyway and join some hams in Louisiana who are hosting a BOO-SO party. Yes, that?s BOO-SO ? a ham radio activity designed to scare up some contacts. The Louisiana Delta Radio Club KC5DR will be at one of the region?s most visible haunts – the Transylvania, Louisiana Water Tower – calling Q-R-Dead??that is, Q-R-Zed ? on the 27th of October from 1600 UTC to 2200 UTC. There?s no requirement to show up in costume, but the town?s water tower itself is dressed for the occasion year round ? it bears the likeness of a giant bat flying with its wings spread – joining everyone on the air. So be listening for KC5DR on HF ? and if you think you?re hearing voices, you?ll know for sure that band conditions aren?t a complete horror show. The hams will be logging all contacts and, as Dracula himself might say??keeping Count.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I?m Mike Askins KE5CXP.


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; CQ Magazine;; EURAO Newsletter; Kenneth Opskar LA7GIA; Lloyd Colston KC5FM; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; Joe Holland KB5VJY; Karl Martin KG4HBN; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Sonoma County Radio Amateurs Club; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall’s QSO Radio Show; Variety; 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 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.
Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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