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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 11-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - November, 2003

Events Calendar
Where did the events calendar go?? It is still here, but not in the newsletter. Click on the Calendar button on the Home Page. This will allow the calendar to be updated more frequently, if needed.

New Tower Requirements??
Charlie K0HNY reported at the October club meeting that Owatonna initially denied him a permit for a new tower. From the discussion table, it appears there may be some new requirements as a result of the new MN building codes adopted by the city. It looks like the design criteria requires 90 mph winds and a radial ice load of 1/2". The city and Charlie are working with an engineering firm to clear up the design specifications.

Local Tidbits
Charlie K0HNY is now retired - no wonder he is looking at a new tower.
Jeff N0GZK reported a new harmonic at his household.

Rochester License Class Results
The Rochester ARC meeting minutes for October reported the results of the weekend license class held in August. Of the 14 in the class, 9 have gotten new licenses. Congratulations to the new licensees and the RARC for a successful class.

Morse Code Update
Luxembourg announced the dropping of the Morse code requirement for HF bands operation. As of the 25th of September, radio amateurs in Luxembourg with a CEPT Class 2 licence and callsigns in the LX3 series have had use of all of the HF amateur bands.

Petitions to the FCC
The FCC has sounded the bell to begin Round 2 of the Morse code debate by inviting public comment on another group of seven Morse-related petitions for rulemaking. The FCC put the petitions on public notice October 8, and comments are due by November 7. The petitions are RM-10805 through RM-10811. To summarize:

  • Retain Element 1 as an examination requirement for General and Amateur Extra applicants and give Technicians limited HF SSB privileges.
  • Retain the 5 WPM Morse requirement.
  • Continue Morse testing but give applicants up to 24 points of exam credit according to their success on Element 1. The final exam score would be the sum of earned Element 1 points and the written test score for a possible total of 100 points. Also, consolidate the Novice and Technician and the Advanced and Amateur Extra licenses, boost the number and range of written test questions and give new Technicians CW and data privileges.
  • Restructure the Amateur Radio testing regime to require specific knowledge of RTTY, data, image, spread spectrum, pulse/test, RACES/ARES and space communications only for those wishing to operate these modes. Applicants would be under no obligation to pass mode-specific examination elements for mode privileges they don't wish to operate.
  • Delete Element 1 for Technician and General classes but to increase the rigor of the written elements for those two license classes, and keep the 5 WPM Morse exam for Extra applicants.
  • Cut the number of license classes to two--General and Amateur Extra--and the number of written examination elements to one--at the General level. Eliminate the 5 WPM Morse code exam for General but require Extra applicants to pass a 15 WPM test.
  • Merge Tech and Tech Plus into a single class, emphasize technical content,including digital modes, on written examinations. This proposal also extends digital mode privileges within Novice/Tech Plus subbands but not provide additional HF phone privileges for Technicians. Retain a 5 WPM Morse exam for General applicants and raise the Morse exam to 12 WPM for Amateur Extra applicants while increasing thetechnical level on written examinations for both classes.
Members of the amateur community may make their opinions known on any or all of these filings (or view comments on file) using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/.

NOAA Propogation Service to go QRT
Amateurs around the globe may soon loose the propagation information system operated by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This includes real time data on the state of the interaction of the earth's magnetosphere with the solar wind and state of the earth's magnetic field. From Amateur Radio NewsLine

17-Meter Techs
There are a fair number of Tech class licensees the OSCAR data base. As a general reminder, Technician class license holders do not have any operating privileges in the 17-meter Amateur band. The FCC recently sent notices to some Tech licensees for operating in the 18-MHz band.

73 Magazine SK
After completing 43 years of publication, 73 Amateur Radio Today magazine is calling it quits. Plans to publish a joint October/November issue fell through this week, and the September 2003 issue was the magazine's last. Wayne Green (W2NSD) indicated that no definite arrangements have been made yet about how to handle outstanding 73 subscriptions.

A partial archive of past articles from "73" can be found at: http://www.rrsta.com/hth/

AOL Blocks qrz.com
A-O-L has decided to unilaterally block delivery QRZ.com e-mails unless a specific A-O-L user goes to the trouble of unblocking his or her own account. According to QRZ, they have been getting up to 50 emails a week from America Online users who have not received their QRZ passwords or Links. QRZ advises that it is A-O-L and not them that has placed spam filters on incoming e-mail. To fix the problem, users must log onto A-O-L, go to "SPAM CONTROL" and set it so that e-mail from QRZ.com as an allowable e-mail address. From Amateur Radio NewsLine

Virginia BPL Startup
Manassas, Virginia (Washington, DC, suburb) has approved plans for a citywide BPL rollout. Manassas City Council reportedly voted unanimously October 16 to grant a 10-year franchise to Prospect Street Broadband to expand a BPLfield trial and offer high-speed Internet service to the entire community over municipal power lines. Prospect Street Broadband reportedly will offer the BPL service for $29.95 a month.

The Manassas BPL field trial is one of the smallest now under way and involves fewer than a dozen homes and businesses. It was installed in an area that has underground utility wiring and no Amateur Radio licensees nearby.An article in Potomac News.com touted the impending Manassas BPL rollout as the first of its type in the US.

The ARRL this week put officials in Manassas, Virginia, on notice that the League will act on behalf of its members to ensure full compliance with FCC regulations when the city's Broadband over Power Line (BPL) system starts up in a few months. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said he was writing to alert the City of Manassas "on behalf of its members who live in and use the public thoroughfares of Manassas" that the ARRL "will ensure that there is full compliance with the FCC regulations" once the city's BPL system is in operation.

Echolink Accepts LOTW Digital Certificates
EchoLink announced that it will begin accepting digital certificates issued by the American Radio Relay League's Logbook of the World program as an alternate means of authenticating new users. EchoLink is a system for interconnecting Amateur Radio stations over the Internet. Logbook of the World is the ARRL's secure electronic contact-confirmation system. Launched on September 15 of this year, it will allow its participants to qualify for operating awards electronically, as an alternative to exchanging and submitting hardcopy QSLs.

new EchoLink users must be validated before being allowed access. EchoLink system administrators currently process dozens of Amateur license photocopies each day, received by fax and e-mail. To streamline the process, participants in Logbook of the World (LoTW) will now be able to prove their identity to EchoLink using a LoTW digital certificate, as an alternative to submitting a license copy.

Information on EchoLink is available at www.echolink.org. Information on Logbook of the World is available at www.arrl.org/lotw. From Amateur Radio NewsLine

Dutch Studies 3G Cell Stations
A study by Dutch researchers has found some interesting side effects from certain cellular telephone base station radiation. Initial results show that electromagnetic energy transmitted by base stations for the new third generation or 3 G wireless networks caused subjects in double-blind test groups to experience tingling sensations, get headaches and have feelings of nausea. On the other hand, when the same subjects were exposed to signals from current mobile networks, no negative impacts were found.

But here's the kicker. When the same people were exposed to both types of fields (3 G plus current networks) the subjects became more alert when exposed to both fields. Obviously, more research needs to be done before anything conclusive can be known. From Amateur Radio NewsLine

Edmund Fitgerald Special Event
The Stu Rockers group will be on the air from Whitefish Point and Paradise, Michigan on November 7th , 8th, and 9th about 10. This, for an event called Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald. 2003 marks the 7th year that the Stu Rockafellow Amateur Society has sponsored a special event in remembrance of the famed ship and her crew. Look for the call N8F on 40 through 10 meters and QSL to Richard Barker, W8VS, 264 N. East St., Brighton, Mi. 48116 From Amateur Radio NewsLine

NOAA Space Weather Service Threatened
CQ Magazine's news service reports that the service on which many amateurs depend for reports on ionospheric conditions may have its funding sharply cut or eliminated under two versions of a Congressional spending plan for Fiscal Year 2004. The Space Environment Center is actually operated jointly by NOAA and the Air Force, but its funding is in the NOAA budget.

The Space Environment Center provides space weather reports on solar and geomagnetic activity that affect the ionosphere, which in turn affects radio propagation. In addition, the bureau monitors solar flares and similar events that can damage satellites. This gives advance knowledge that can help protect them. And for radio amateurs, the propagation predictions in C-Q and other publications depend on these space weather observations. From Amateur Radio NewsLine

UO-14 SK?
AMSAT reports that the UO-14 satellite has left the air, and there appears to be disagreement among experts over whether it can be recovered. The satellite, built by the University of Surrey in England, was launched 14 years ago. It’s one of the so-called “EasySats,” operating on FM with an uplink on 2 meters and a downlink on 70 centimeters. From CQ Magazine

Something to Sell or Buy? Something to Add?
Don't forget the "classified" section of the OSCAR web site. The editor is always looking for ideas and submissions for future newsletters. Send ideas, articles, event dates, and updates.