w8krr at att.net
Fri Sep 30 09:17:17 EDT 2005
RESCUE RADIO: HAM RADIO COMMS POST KATRINA AND RITA
Amateur Radio operators are now assisting in the clean-up efforts following
two hurricanes. This as Rita follows Katrina into the Gulf states.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, has the latest:
As Texas Gov. Rick Perry put it, some areas of his state "really got
whacked" while others "dodged a bullet" delivered by Hurricane Rita. The
same might be said for Louisiana, where some coastal towns sustained severe
damage and flooding while others further inland were spared.
As the cleanup continues and the restoration work progresses in the
hurricane disaster zones of Rita and Katrina, amateur radio will continue
to play a large role in the communications and relief effort.
Jeff Clark, K8JAC, a homeland security planner for Kanawha County in
Charleston, West Virginia, spent a week in the New Orleans area in early
September, just after Katrina hit. He was there to provide communications
support for his county sheriff department's SWAT team which was assisting
in security operations.
Clark is back at work now, but he says the devastation he saw will stay
with him for a long time.
"It's really surreal in certain areas there it defies description, really,"
he recalls. "You know, you see those images on TV but you can't smell those
images and that's the first thing that struck me.
"It's surreal, it is surreal. There are areas of New Orleans, I don't know
how they're going to rebuild all those homes. St. Bernard's Parish is
Clark says he and the SWAT team worked in the town of Gretna, in Jefferson
Parish, just across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans. But
they toured the devastation in New Orleans as part of their assignment.
Clark says living conditions for the visiting West Virginia delegation were
pretty spartan, but they were prepared and brought most of the supplies
they needed with them.
"Things were pretty austere and pretty rugged but we made due just fine,"
Clark says. "One of the interesting points was there was absolutely no
commerce during most of the time we were there.
"You couldn't buy gas or fuel south of Meridien, Mississippi. And, no
convenience stores, no Wal Marts, no Home Depots, nothing was open. As a
matter of fact I took a fair amount of cash with me, I didn't spend a dime
the whole week."
Clark says amateur radio was still working to provide health-and-welfare
communications and other traffic as needed. As to his own take on the
future for New Orleans:
"In order to get everything ramped up, back to where it was, I'm not sure
that that will ever take place," Clark says. "At the very least, it'll take
years to get neighborhoods rebuilt and consequently, you know because the
people that live in the New Orleans area were employed there.
"They're part of the economic base and that will take even longer to get
back up to speed. It's unfortunately going to be a long road back for the
greater New Orleans area."
Last week, we spoke with Joe Tomasone, AB2M, the ham behind creation of the
database for radio operators interested in working in the hurricane
disaster zone. He told us how inspired he was by the posting in the forum
section of his website from a ham in a wheelchair.
Well, Amateur Radio Newsline - with Joe's help - found that ham. He's Troy
Scoville KC8QLR. Troy is from St. Petersburg, Florida and is active in the
Pinellas County emergency communications and net control for a number of
Scoville tells us his wheelchair is not an obstacle and he volunteered to
go with a group of operators from Pinellas being deployed to Hancock
County, Mississippi's Emergency Operations Center.
He says the first crew was reluctant to take him because of the extent of
the devastation there. But Scoville says he's has heard from the operators
and found he would be able to get around and do what he can if needed.
"I did get to see some pictures from some of the people that deployed in my
area," Scoville says. "It showed the ground was pretty well nice at the
base camp where they were set up at at the Hancock County EOC.
"And, I was told that it was wheelchair accessible, so at that particular
time it seemed like things had gotten better in the area and it would be
okay for a wheelchair to get through."
Scoville says he has been in a wheelchair most of his life because of Spina
Bifida, which has left him paralyzed from the waist down. However, he says
he has full upper body strength and is very mobile in his wheelchair.
"I might not be a good person for a first-responder, being in a wheelchair,
you know, I don't want to go into a disaster area where I'm in real
danger," Scoville says. "But maybe as a relief operator, I'd be good as a
second team member or a third team being deployed in there to relieve the
other guys, the grunts that go in first and put up the antennas and get
radio communications set up."
Troy Scoville is an inspiration to us all. His courage and determination
might give us pause to reflect on the contributions every ham - regardless
or age or disability - can make in times of need.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, in Philadelphia.
Experts say that the post storm clean-up effort could continue for some
time as will the need for Amateur Radio emergency communications efforts.
RESCUE RADIO: LAKE CHARLES TV STATION STREAMS RITA ON THE WEB
Hurricane Rita as seen through the cameras of a television station caught
in the eye of the storm. This was the story after the news division of
station KPLC rode out the brunt of the storm as it hammered Lake Charles.
According to Shoptalk, the station set up temporary facilities at a local
hospital when it appeared its regular studio might get flooded by rising
storm surge. Operating on generators, KPLC has remained on the air around
the clock. This includes the hours when the hurricane sent winds higher
than 100 mph through the city. The streaming video of Hurricane Rita at
www.kplc.com was watched all over the world as the storm slammed through
the area. (Adapted from Shoptalk)
INDUSTRY ASSIST: KENWOOD GROUP DONATES WIRELSS GEAR TO KATRINA CLEAN-UP
Radio World on-line reports that the Kenwood Group has pledged to provide
roughly $90,000 worth of wireless public safety mobile radios. This, to
support and assist in the reconstruction of the gulf coast areas devastated
by Hurricane Katrina.
Such equipment does not rely on commercial power utilities and the receiver
company hopes the donation will help to maintain and recover some parts of
the destroyed communications in the area.
The donations will head to the American Red Cross, state emergency
managers, county emergency managers, city emergency managers for the state
of Louisiana as well as Tennessee, and shelters in Tennessee.
On the ham radio side, numerous companies have donated gear and other
support to the hurricane communications effort. This list is quite long
and includes Heil Sound, Icom, Kenwood, M-F-J and Yaesu to mention only a
few. (RW-Online, others)
ENFORCEMENT: GERRITSEN TRIAL PUSHED BACK TO DECEMBER
The federal trial of Jack Gerritsen, the ex-KG6IRO, of Bell, California on
charges of interfering with a number of radio services has been postponed
until at least December 6th and could slide a bit further. As previously
reported, Gerritsen was arrested last May 5th after being accused of jamming
radio frequencies being used by the United States military, the United
States Coast Guard, law enforcement and public safety agencies.
In a criminal complaint filed Wednesday on May 4th the government had
charged Gerritsen with a felony count of malicious interference with a
communications system operated by the United States and a misdemeanor count
of transmitting radio signals without a license. If convicted on both
charges Gerritsen could face a hefty fine and up to 11 years in a federal
>From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard
on bulletin stations around the world including the W2GSB repeater serving
West Babylon, New York.
(5 sec pause here)
THE BPL WAR: BATTLE LINES DRAWN DOWN-UNDER
The battle lines between Australian BPL providers and numerous radio
services have been drawn in the sand. This as that nations
telecommunications regulator publishes the 275 responses to its proposal on
the issue of introducing Broadband Over Powerlines down-under. The
majority of responders are telling the regulator -- ACMA -- not to do it.
Phil Wait, VK2DKN, reports:
There are some very big names amongst the list in addition to the 222
submission from radio amateurs.
Air Services, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Defence, are
concerned about the interference potential to their radio communications
Optus recommend a 'cautious approach', and are concerned over potential
interference to their cable services
Likewise, Telstra expresses serious concerns about interference to their
Broadband cable- ADSL- ADSL2-, VDSL- and HF radio services.
Telstra stated: ".ubiquitous BPL could have serious consequences for cable
modem networks" and "It is clear that if BPL is permitted at the ETSI
levels, there will be significant degradation of VDSL in cases where
power and telecommunications lines are in close proximity".
In a strongly worded statement - medical alarm providers through their
industry association the Personal Emergency Response Services Association
(PERSA) conclude: "Electromagnetic interference from BPL is potentially
severe, and is continuous and widespread. BPL interference could prevent a
call for assistance in a life threatening situation, resulting in death or
The ABC express fear that BPL interference is: "highly likely in some
circumstances to annihilate broadcasting services."
The BPL industry's submissions are more favourable towards BPL and
recommend less onerous management techniques.
Bytecan is a member of the Wommera Consortium operator of the Morouya BPL
trial in New South Wales.
Bytecan is the first from any entity involved in the promotion of BPL to
acknowledge the impact of BPL terference on radio communications services.
Bytecan - a member of the Wommera BPL Consortium - They essessencially say
that BPL works only at levels high enough to cause interference to
radiocommunications services - and if the BPL signal is "notched" enough
to avoid that interference then there is insufficient bandwidth remaining
for the BPL system to operate.
This is Phil Wait, VK2DKN, from the WIA.
That's the strongest and most united opposition to the introduction of B-P-
L heard to date. A link to the full list of submissions - also including
those from CB radio, model aircraft enthusiasts, outback radio uses, and
equipment suppliers is on the WIA website at www.wia.org.au. (WIA News)
RADIO LAW: AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA "CC&R BILL" REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
The ARRL Letter reports that New York Congressman Steve Israel has
reintroduced legislation that could make it easier for radio amateurs
living in communities with deed covenants, conditions and restrictions to
erect suitable antennas. Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross, WD5DVR, signed
aboard as an original co-sponsor of the Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Consistency Act. ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank
Fallon, N2FF, attended Israel's public announcement of the bill September
19th on Long Island. The measure has been assigned the designation HR
ENFORCEMENT: LICENSE RENEWALS ON HOLD FOR OHIO HAMS
A pair of Strongsville, Ohio, hams have had their license renewal
applications set aside by the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.
The August 19th action against Gary A. Jaworske, KB8ZNS, and Zachary J.
Jaworske, KB8YYG is based on a complaint against the pair that claims they
are involved in the marketing non-certified radio transmitters and
modifying certified radio equipment to cause it to operate on unauthorized
frequencies and at power limits that violate Commission rules.
The FCC says that the complaint if valid raises serious questions regarding
the two hams qualifications to retain an amateur license. Zachary
Jaworske's license expired on April 19, while Gary Jaworske's ticket
expired May 17th.
Since their renewal applications were filed before the expiration date the
two hams can continue to operate until the issues involved are settled. In
this case the FCC cannot invoked its new Red Light rule as there is no
outstanding fine or other debt panding to the agency.
Both Gary and Zachary Jaworske hold Technician class licenses. They were
given the customary 30 days from the date of the FCC letter to them to
RADIO LAW: THREATENED LAW SUIT GIVES BACK MEDIA ACCESS TO PUBLIC SERVICE
News organizations in Wichita Falls, Texas have reached an agreement with
the city to again allow them access to local emergency communications that
was cut off after a new encrypted radio system was put into service. Now
they have it all back. Jim Davis, W2JKD, reports:
The media outlets had threatened to sue for the same access to real-time
police and fire communications they had in the past.
By listening to scanners, reporters find out about car accidents, crimes,
fires, road closures and public safety threats. But the new 800-MHz
digital radio system requires specific equipment, plus encryption codes for
police, fire and other public service transmissions that the city has
denied to anyone.
The agreement with the city will allow television stations KFDX and KAUZ
and the Wichita Falls Times Record News each to buy as many as two digital
radios. The radios will be programmed to receive dispatching information
from the Wichita Falls Fire Department as well as the Police Department's
primary traffic channel.
For weeks prior to the agreement, Wichita Falls officials insisted that the
media and other outside parties should not have any access to emergency
transmissions. Officials claimed that making this information available to
anyone outside of those in the need to know placed officers safety at risk.
They also said information officers need to give to each other during an
incident, such as someone's health condition or criminal activities, cannot
be broadcast with others listening.
As the scanners turned quiet, media outlets asked citizens to call when
they saw breaking news events. The public did and Drew Hadwal, who is News
Director for KAUZ said those tips were invaluable.
Still unanswered is what legal action local scanner radio enthusiasts might
take to try to force the city to give them access to these transmissions as
well. There appears to be no legal precedent that the average citizen can
turn to in cases where public access to emergency service transmissions is
denied. (Media Watch)
RADIO LAW: DON'T CENSOR WHAT I WATCH
The word to the government is to stop meddling in what airs on the tube.
Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, has the details:
Americans do not want the government to censor what they watch. This,
according to a study recently released by the nonprofit advocacy group TV
The researchers reported that three out of four of the 1,002 people polled
for the survey strongly agreed that they would rather decide what programs
to watch instead of having government censors decide. The pole concluded
that no matter the concerns people may have about content, the much
stronger and more dominant feeling is that they don't want government
making choices that they feel should be left to families and individuals.
The survey comes amid an increasing government crackdown on broadcasters.
NAMES IN THE NEWS: HAS TO RECEIVE RCA HONORS
Four hams are among those being honored at the 96th annual Radio Club of
America Awards Banquet. Among them is William Lieske, W7GLT, with the
Fred M. Link Award. This, in recognition of his contributions to the
advancement of Land Mobile radio communications.
Also being honored are Stephen Hemphill, WA3ZAE, Carl Krauss WB2TZL and
Charles Sackerman Jr.. They will receive Special Appreciation Awards for
their contribution to the 70th anniversary commemorative broadcast of Major
Edwin Armstrong's first public demonstration of FM radio. As previously
reported that event took place back on June 11th from the Armstrong Tower in
Alpine, New Jersey.
And named receive Radio Club of America's Presidents Award is Eric D.
Stoll, K2TO. He will be receiving this honor in recognition of his 30
years of work in support of the organizations needs.
Award presentations take place November 18th at the New York Athletic Club
on Central Park South in New York City. More information is on-line at
This is ham radio news for today's radio amateur. From the United States
of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline with links to the world from
our only official website at www.arnewsline.org and being relayed by the
volunteer services of the following radio amateur:
(5 sec pause here)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ISS EXPEDITION 12 CREW HEADS TO ISS WITH SPACE TOURIST
A new crew and the latest space tourist should be on their way to the
International Space Station about the time this newscast goes to air.
Commander William McArthur, KC5ACR, and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev,
RA4ADM, will be the Expedition 12 crew. They are scheduled to launch from
the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan a few minutes before midnight Eastern
Daylight Time on September 30th to begin a 182 day stay in space.
With them will be American Greg Olsen, KC2ONX. Olsen is the third private
citizen in space, flying under a contract with the Russian Federal Space
Agency. He will spend about eight days on the station before hitching a
ride back to Earth with the departing Expedition 11 crew. During his stay
he will be an acting NASA Science Officer performing experiments on board
the I-S-S. He has also promised to contact several schools using the I-S-S
ham radio gear.
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying the three adventurers is scheduled to dock
with the I-S-S on Monday, October 3rd. Like his predecessors Dennis Tito,
KG6FZX, and Mark Shuttleworth, ZSRSA, before him, Olsen is believed to have
coughed up about $20 million to pay for his ride into space. (AMSAT)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SSETI EXPRESS LAUNCH DELAYED
Meantime, word that the launch of the SSETI Express satellite has been
postponed indefinitely. According to M5AKA the delay was the result of the
Sinah payload having suffered a significant failure and not being ready in
time to be launched. Sinah was one of the primary Russian payloads that
was to be orbited along with SSETI Express. (M5AKA)
CHANGING OF THE GUARD: LASER INVENTOR GORDON GOULD - SK
The scientist who coined the word "laser" and won a decades-long struggle
to secure patent rights for the most commonly used type, has died. Gordon
Gould, a pioneer in laser technology was was 85 when he passes away on
Friday, September 23rd.
Gould is credited with developing the gas discharge laser and the optically
pumped laser. He began work on the laser in 1957 based on his graduate
studies at Columbia University and first applied for the patent in 1959.
The U.S. Patent Office denied his application, sparking a legal battle that
would span three decades.
Gould won his first minor patent in 1977, but didn't claim his first
significant patent victory until 1987. That's when a federal judge ordered
the government to issue a patent to him for the optically pumped laser.
This is a device that has varied applications that includes supermarket
checkout counters and eye surgery. Over the next 17 years, until the patent
expired, Gould earned an estimated $30 million from patent licenses.
Ironically, the patent fight played to his advantage. If he had received
the patent in 1959 his rights would have expired before the laser became
widely used. (Science OnLine)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: A POSSIBLE WAY TO END DANGEROUS POLICE PURSUITS
>From the emerging technology file word that a possible new way to end those
televised police pursuits may be on its way. This with word from the CGC
Communicator that a Virginia start-up called StarChase will soon unveil a
system aimed at ending them very quickly.
The StarChase concept uses compressed air to fire an epoxy-coated
projectile at a fleeing vehicle. The round carries with it a GPS chip set,
wireless modem and power supply to enable continuous remote tracking.
Field tests will begin soon. StarChase intends to officially unveil the
system at next month's IAPC Conference in Miami. (CGC)
WORLDBEAT - AUSTRALIA: CELEBRATING ANOTHER MARCONI FIRST
Planning is underway to celebrate the July 1906 first radio transmission
from Devonport to Queenscliff in Victoria Australia by Marconi. The North
West Tasmania Amateur Radio Interest Group in conjunction with the
Devonport City Council will co-ordinate the Devonport End. The Geelong
Amateur Radio Club in conjunction with the various public utilities in the
Queenscliff and Geelong areas, handling the Victorian end.
The celebration is planned for the weekend of 6th or 12th of July of 2006.
Those involved hope for an actual re-enactment of the radio transmission
using spark transmitters and other radio related activity and exhibitions.
This is seen as an excellent opportunity to promote Amateur Radio down-
under with lots of media coverage. Further news will be made available as
it comes to hand. (WIA)
ON THE AIR: COMMEMORATING THE TITAN
October 1st is the date that Arizona's Green Valley Amateur Radio Club will
be conducting a special event operation from the Titan Missile Museum
National Historic Site, in the town of Sahuarita. While most of the
operation will be on HF, the group also plans to be on the SO-50 and AO-51
birds as time permits. The call sign to look for is N7GV. QSL via W0KAD.
In D-X, GB2RS reports that a large group of Dutch amateurs are in Qawra,
Malta for their 18th holiday DXpedition. They are operating on 80 thru 6
meters using CW, SSB and digital modes. Listen for them as 9H0VRZ through
early October and Q-S-L as directed on the air. (SB2RS)
THAT FINAL ITEM: PA QSO PARTY - OCT 8 & 9
And finally this week, one of the nations favorite contests is about to hit
the airwaves. It's the Pennsylvania QSO party. Amateur Radio Newslines
Josh Abramowicz, KB3GWY, has the details:
Audio report only. Download the MP3 version of this newscast at
Again the dates for the Pennsylvania QSO Party are October 8thth and 9thth.
Josh says he will see you on the air. (ARNewslineT)
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