Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2140 for Friday, November 2 2018

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2140 for Friday, November 2 2018

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2140 with a release date of Friday, November 2, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A renowned contester dies in a tragic tower accident. Radio Scouts add up the score after Jamboree on the Air – and the RMS Queen Mary sets sail for satellites. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2140 comes your way right now.




JIM/ANCHOR: As Newsline went to production, the amateur radio community was rocked by the news that noted contester Paul Bittner W0AIH had suffered a fatal fall from a tower at his superstation’s antenna farm near Eau Claire, Wisconsin. According to his longtime friend Allan Schlaugat (pronounced “SCHLOGGIT”) N9ISN, Paul had been working October 31st on his 180-foot tower when the rope broke. Paul fell 60 feet. Allan told Newsline that emergency responders were called and they pronounced him dead on the scene.

A retired Lutheran minister, Paul had participated in the World Radiosport Team Championship in Germany this past summer. He and Allan had competed together in the CQ WorldWide DX contest in October and had just posted a score of about 2.2 million points. Paul’s many honors included induction in 2009 into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame.

A ham for almost 7 decades, Paul Bittner was 85. Newsline will have more on his life and long career in next week’s report. Vale (pronounced “Var-lay”) Paul (2 seconds silence).



JIM/ANCHOR: The world’s largest event in Scouting, Jamboree on the Air, is over and all that remains now is the counting. The global event is all about ham radio and ham shacks in October were filled with youngsters calling CQ. Last year there were more then 1.5 million Scouts participating from more than 160 countries. Bill Stearns NE4RD tells us how Scouts in the United States are wrapping things up.

BILL: This week in Radio Scouting, another great Jamboree on the Air is in the books, we have one activation from Scout Camps on the Air, and we look ahead to the World Jamboree 2019.

AUDIO CLIP: CQ Jamboree CQ Jamboree this is Oscar Echo Three Bravo Lima Sierra, Oscar Echo Three Bravo Lima Sierra listening through.
AUDIO CLIP: Oscar Echo Three Bravo Lima Sierra this is Whiskey Bravo Seven Oscar X-Ray Pah-Pah, Reno Nevada, USA

There was a lot of activity on the bands during JOTA weekend, and a lot of people participated that maybe thought they wouldn’t. Now is the time to file a report of your activity.  Even if you didn’t register your station, or maybe only worked one JOTA station, we want your report in our records for the accuracy of the annual report. Head over to to file right now!

Even though JOTA is over, Radio Scouting continues on with an activation from our Scout Camps on the Air Site.  Thomas Barker, WA1HRH, will be activating W1M at the November Camporee at the Moses Scout Reservation in Russel, MA, on November 11th.  They’ll have their trusty FT-897 setup with dipole and plan on being active on HF.  They’ll be on or around the Scout frequencies as band conditions allow.
The next big adventure in Radio Scouting will be happening in early August next year, and this will be the World Jamboree 2019 occurring at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.  Balloon Launches, ARDF, ARISS, and Demonstration Stations for HF, Satellite, SOTA and digital modes are some of the activities planned.  If you’re interested in aiding our efforts at the World Jamboree or finding out more information about the operation plans, head over to our landing page for it
For more information on Radio Scouting please visit our website at
For Amateur Radio Newsline and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, this is Bill Stearns, NE4RD.


JIM/ANCHOR: Young hams in South Africa are helping one another embrace CW. John Williams VK4JJW has that story.

JOHN: What started as a twice-weekly meetup on Google hangouts for a group of enthusiastic young hams in South Africa has developed into a daily routine of confident QSOs on HF using CW. Daryl ZS6DLL, Sean ZS6SR and Mike ZS6MSW are among the group of about 5 newcomers to Code who were inspired by the success of hams in the SOTA program who have had using it to beat bad band conditions. Although they had their initial plan to help one another polish their skills was hatched on a local 2 meter repeater, the group actually went off the air – and into Google Hangouts – before things could start happening. Twice a week they engaged in a one-hour practice session there without having to worry about sunspots. Then, 4 months later, they decided they were ready for prime time. Now most of them are on the air daily, says Daryl. He told Newsline [quote] “you can switch on the rig at 1700 every day and hear CW signals and make a QSO which is something you would not have heard a year ago. In fact the amount of CW ops still active on the bands, you could count on one hand.”
Off the air, the group is also involved in a CW group on WhatsApp that has 24 participants, ranging from newcomers to veterans. Daryl said it is turning out to be a great platform for questions and collaboration. He said that with interest spreading outside South Africa – even as far away as Korea – the group plans to return to Google Hangouts for another learning session.
Daryl is quite pleased. Making a reference to the open grasslands found throughout South Africa, he told Newsline [quote] “We have set the veld on fire here in South Africa.”
For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m John Williams VK4JJW.


JIM/ANCHOR: How do hams help an old, established observatory mark 175 years of operation? Jack Parker W8ISH tells us how.

JACK: It’s nowhere near as old as the stars and planets but at 175 years of age, the Cincinnati Observatory Center is one of the western hemisphere’s oldest observatories still in operation. To mark its anniversary, the OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society is hosting special event station K8SCH on the HF bands from November 9th at 6 p.m. Eastern Time through November 11th at 11:59 p.m. Club members will be working from their home QTHs throughout the weekend and the club itself will be on the premises of the observatory on the 9th of November between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time.
The observatory has the distinction of having had former President John Quincy Adams preside over its dedication on Nov. 9 1843 when he helped lay the cornerstore of the original building. Though the observatory is now at a different location, further east, that takes it away from city pollution, it has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and still uses the original 11-inch Merz and Mahler refractor telescope.
Be listening and perhaps you too can make contact from afar with what was originally called “The Lighthouse of the Sky.”

For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Jack Parker W8ISH.



JIM DAMRON/ANCHOR: Regulators in Belgium may soon be introducing a license to ease radio operations for visiting hams. Jeremy Boot G4NJH has those details.

JEREMY: Belgium’s communications regulator, BIPT, has told the nation’s amateur radio associations that it wants to introduce a CEPT novice licence.
CEPT, the European Telecommunications authority, has agreements to allow compatible, HAREC compliant, full and novice licence-holders in signatory countries to travel to other such nations in Europe and go on the air without the need for additional permits or licences.
“The current Belgian novice licence allows 50-watts output on all modes. The revision to the CEPT compatible novice specification would permit 100 watts output on the HF bands and 6 metres with 50 watts on 2 metres and 70cms. The proposed CEPT novice licensee would have access to all HF bands except 60 metres plus a portion of 160 metres as well as 6 metres, 2 metres and 70 cm.”

BIPT is also proposing a reduction in power for the country’s entry level licensees, and similarly reducing the allowable 50-watt output on all modes to 40 watts PEP for SSB and 10 watts for FM.
The regulator has also said that comments – or even alternative proposals – are welcome.
For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Jeremy Boot G4NJH.


BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the K4LYL repeater in Bedford Virginia on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time.


JIM/ANCHOR: A world renowned luxury liner now docked in California will be the site of some satellite activity, as we hear from Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

NEIL: The RMS Queen Mary, renowned for bringing luxury accommodations to travelers on the ocean, is preparing next for a voyage into near space. Well, sort of. The Associated Radio Amateurs of Long Beach is getting ready for a day of satellite operations aboard the luxury liner, which is docked at Long Beach in southern California. The hams are getting on the air on Dec. 15 with the call sign W6RO, the call sign for the Nate Brightman Wireless Room on board the liner. The shack, which opened in 1979, is named for the Silent Key K6OSC who operated amateur station GB5QM on board the ship during its final cruise from England to Long Beach, California in 1967. He then worked for more than a decade to see to the establishment of a permanent amateur radio station on board the ship.
According the club’s page on QR, satellite operations will include SSB, FM and possibly packet and the operators are hoping to include some HF activity as well.
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Neil Rapp WB9VPG.


JIM/ANCHOR: An amateur radio operator in Wales has taken on a new task for the Radio Society of Great Britain. Jeremy Boot G4NJH tells us more.

JEREMY: Amateur radio has always been an adventure of discovery for Simon Taylor MW0NWM, (MW-ZERO-NWM) who said the hobby’s diverse activities were what drew him to ham radio in the first place. Now he’s taking that affinity to the next level, helping the Radio Society of Great Britain create a better relationship with eclectics group of hams. There are more than 30 of them, he told Newsline, and the RSGB’s strategy for the year 2022 includes letting national affiliates enjoy the same kind of direct support and representation that local clubs have. That’s where Simon’s work begins. He is the radio society’s first Honorary Officer for National Affiliated Clubs, Societies and Special Interest groups, a newly created voluntary position designed to develop a deeper dialogue with these groups. Simon told Newsline that the new relationships will initially include written support agreements to be drawn up between the RSGB and the affiliated societies and encouragement to contribute more material for RADCOM, the society’s member magazine. He said the affiliates will also be encouraged to have a greater presence at the National Hamfest, the National Convention and other major rallies in the UK. For now, he said, the focus is simply on understanding the needs of this large and varied group, one that embraces everything QRP operation to direction-finding to collection of vintage and military equipment. Simon told Newsline [quote] “I hope that my passion for this diversity encourages the various groups to join in our conversation. Who knows?” he said, “I may even be tempted to try something new and my own interest in the hobby may take a surprising and unexpected direction.”

For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Jeremy Boot G4NJH.


JIM/ANCHOR: The founder of a net for hams who love D-STAR and railroads has a message for everyone who’s checked in so far. Here’s Paul Braun WD9GCO.

PAUL: The D-STAR Trains Net has just marked its first year on the air, bringing train and railroad enthusiasts together once a week to talk about one of their favorite subjects. Daryl Stout WX1DER, who calls himself the net’s conductor, told Newsline he is pleased with so many hams coming on board but said not everyone has claimed their commemorative certificate.

He and Paul Frey, K9PTF, designed the certificate, which is emailed to hams after their first check-in – and that is the date that appears on the certificate. If you need a certificate or a replacement, send Daryl an email at wx1der at gmail dot com

Of course, if you’re not yet “all aboard,” the net meets on D-STAR Reflector 26A every Friday at 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central. Participants can expect a bit of railroad trivia provided by Paul. The net is conducted to honor its predecessor that ran on EchoLink for more than eight years, and also in memory of Daryl’s late uncle Frank K3VRM, the youngest engineer hired by the Penn Central Railroad. Daryl told Newsline it was Uncle Frank who gave him his love of trains and, of course, ham radio.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Paul Braun WD9GCO.



In this week’s World of DX be listening for Andy OE7AJH who is active holiday style, mornings and evenings, as 5R8UP from Madagascar. He is on the air from the 3rd through the 13th of November, operating CW and SSB on 40 through 10 meters and possibly 80 meters. Send QSLs via his home call, direct or bureau.

Be listening for Michael DF8AN who is operating on Christmas Island as VK9XQ from the 3rd to the 6th of November and again from the 9th to the 17th of November. He will be operating from the Cocos Islands as VK9CH from the 6th to the 9th of November. At both locations he will be operating mainly CW, RTTY and other digital modes and can be found on 160 meters through 6 meters. QSL via his home call, direct or bureau, or eQSL.

Starting on the 3rd of November and through the end of December you can listen for Special Event Station IY1EY operating from Loano (LOW-anno). The station is commemorating Guglielmo Marconi’s experiments that were conducted in the Ligurian Sea aboard his yacht “Elettra” from 1919 to 1936. Listen on all bands, both in CW and SSB. There will be a special QSL card courtesy of IK1QBT.

The Ducie Island DXpedition VP6D closed down early at 1630 UTC on the 31st of October due to bad weather and while many were undoubtedly disappointed that they didn’t get a contact with them, it was nice to see all the compliments and good wishes for a safe return home to the team on the DX Cluster.


JIM/ANCHOR: We conclude this week with a story about a tribute to Lithuania’s ham radio satellites – a tribute that’s golden. Here’s Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

JIM MEACHEN: Let’s talk money. Depending upon how well you equip your shack, amateur radio can end up costing you a couple of coins. If you’re a ham in Lithuania, however – or even if you’re not – there are now some new amateur radio coins that can end up costing you a couple of regular coins. These are gold commemorative ones valued at 5 euros – that’s a little more than five dollars in U.S. currency – and the Bank of Lithuania is issuing them on the 6th of November. They honor the nation’s two amateur radio CubeSats, the LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSAT-1, both of which were launched to the International Space Station in January of 2014 and then deployed from there on Feb. 28 of that same year. The LituanicaSAT-1’s payload included an FM transponder and camera and the LitSat-1 was carrying a linear transponder for SSB and CW developed by a ham.

The coin bears the images of both CubeSats as well as the Lithuanian coat of arms which appears as a constellation of stars.

LitSat-1 also broadcast a three-word message shortly after it left the ISS. Transmitted in Lithuanian, the words translate to: “Lithuania Loves Liberty,” and hams in Brazil, Germany and Estonia were the first to receive that signal. It all made Lithuania’s presence in space as good as gold – and now the nation has the currency to prove it.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Allan Schlaugat (pronounced “SCHLOGGIT”) N9ISN; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; Cesi DiBenedetto KD8OOB; Cincinnati Observatory website; CQ Magazine; Daryl Lambe ZS6DLL; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Marty Sullaway KC1CWF; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Radio Society of Great Britain; 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 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 Jim Damron N8TMW in Charleston, West Virginia saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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