OSCAR membership runs concurrent with the calendar year, so all 2003 memberships are up for renewal. If you want to be part of the OSCAR organization, contact Charlie KØHNY. Dues are only $10 for the 2004 calendar year.
Elections for the 2004 officers were completed at the January meeting. The officers for 2004 are:
- President Jeff NØGZK
- Treasurer Charlie KØHNY
- Secretary Tom NØUW
Note on the Calendar page that the Bloomington and Rochester groups are both having weekend Technician license classes in February.
Local Ham Radio In The News
KAAL-TV in Austin apparently had a spot on amateur radio. The link is no longer active for the story, however.
Larry Shaunce WDØAKX of Albert Lea is featured in the January 2004 issue of Popular Communications in the "VIP Spotlight". The monthly column features stories of how individuals developed an interest in communications.
Tech Talk Net
Thursday night called TechTalk is regularly scheduled for Thursday nights at 7:00 PM. It can be accessed from a variety of networked repeaters, including the Rochester machine 146.745 (136.5 PL).
MN QSO Party
Don't forget the MN QSO Party on 07-Feb, sponsored by the Minnesota Wireless Association. The contest runs from 1400-2359Z. For more information and MN QSO Party software, go to:
CW Freqs: 1.810, 3.550, 7.050, 14.050, 21.050, 28.050
SSB Freqs: 1.870, 3.890, 7.230, 14.290, 21.390, 28.420.
Categories: QRP, SOLP, SOHP, VHF, MN Mobile/Portable and MN MS.
Exchange: Name and MN county or S/P/C.
QSO Points: SSB--1 pt, CW-- 2 pts.
Score: QSO points × MN counties (87 max, MN stns add States and Provinces), each counted only once.
Logs due Mar 15 to WA0MHJ@arrl.net or MNQP, 4745-170th Ln NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304-5233.
Web Program For Cabrillo Format Logs
The ARRL Contest Branch has announced that a Web-based "applet" program now is available that can create and e-mail contest logs in the Cabrillo file format ARRL requires. These will allow participants who log on paper or whose logging software will not generate a Cabrillo file to create an electronic log to submit to the League. While intended for smaller log submissions, the Web applet will work for log submissions of any size.
The Web routine has two stages. First, it prompts the user to provide the required information to create a Cabrillo file header. Once the header is in place, the next screen allows users to input data for each QSO. Users may either type in the information for each contact or they may cut and paste the necessary information--band, date, time, call sign copied, received RST, etc.
Once QSO data has been entered, click the "SUBMIT QSO INFO" button at the bottom of the page. The applet will then check for any formatting errors. If everything is correct, the applet will display the completed file, where you can check your information one last time. Clicking the "SUBMIT CABRILLO LOG" button will e-mail the entry automatically to the correct address for the contest and also send a copy to the user for their records.
Take a look at the applet at http://b4h.net/cabforms.
Eimac Tube Handbook
Eimac power grid tubes book now available from the Web: Eimac's Care and Feeding of Power Grid Tubes handbook now is available for downloading in Adobe PDF format from the Eimac Web site. Each chapter is 1 to 2 MB in size. The Eimac Division of Communications and Power Industries (CPI) has made available PDF files of each chapter. The necessary Adobe Acrobat Reader is available free from the Adobe Web site. From ARRL
Safety Harness Warning
Climbing safety is discussed in an article in Occupational Health & Safety magazine. This authoritative government web site will open your eyes to an unimaginable problem with riggers' safety harnesses. The very devices designed to arrest a fall can kill a climber in a
matter of minutes due to a curious phenomenon called "suspension trauma" that has nothing to do with the jerk force exerted by the arrest itself. It describespossible post-fall trauma that can cause death in minutes and precautions and actions to take to lessen the risks of post-fall
trauma.Discover the details at:
From Various Sources
Foundation for Amateur Radio Scholarships
The Foundation for Amateur Radio is providing applications for hams to apply for the 59 awards that it will administer for the 2004 through 2005 academic year. The foundation is inviting Amateur Radio licensees planning to pursue a full-time course of study beyond high school, and who are either enrolled in or accepted for enrollment at an accredited university, college or technical school to compete for these scholarships. Awards range from $500 to $2500 with preference in some cases going to residents of specific geographic area or to those pursuing certain study programs.The cutoff date is April 30, 2004. Application forms are available by mailing a request to:
FAR Scholarships P.O. Box 831 Riverdale, Maryland 20738
From Amateur Radio NewsLine
QRZ E-Mail Address Listings
QRZ has changed the way member's email addresses are displayed on the website. In order to prevent SPAM robots (spambots) from harvesting email addresses from the callsign database pages, the email addresses as a small graphic image, instead of HTML text. This method thwarts most spambots as they look for email addresses. One drawback is that email addresses will no longer be clickable nor may they be cut-and-pasted into other documents. It will be necessary to hand copy email address information. You can see OSCAR has used this technique by the use of the e-mail graphic at the bottom of the OSCAR web pages. NØUW set up his graphic on qrz.com using the graphical technique.
Gettysburg Office Off-Site Mailroom 1280 Fairfield Road Gettysburg, PA 17325
Effective December 18, 2003, the new address for the Gettysburg Office Off-site Mailroom will be:
The required “ship to” address for all overnight mail couriers, i.e., FED EX, UPS, and Airborne must be to that address. The USPS will accept and divert all mail addressed to 1270 Fairfield Road to the new off-site mailroom. From FCC
Ever wondered how the common rotator got its start? The History of the Bell Rotator has been published on-line at http://www.rotor-doc.com From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Free Computer Stand (or almost)
Need a computer stand for your desktop or laptop? Here is one that is small, easily moved, and has both an adequate workspace and a shelf. Cost? Nada. Nil. Nichts. Nothing. Best of all, you are contributing to the recycling program by salvaging parts that probably would have gone into a landfill, and giving them a second chance to be useful for many additional years. Read this project on recycling a barbeque grill at Badger State Smoke Signals
Plasma Screen RF Interference
A small discussion about RF Interference from plasma and LCD TV screens is noted on the
CGC web site. Several e-mails suggest that there could indeed be a serious radio frequency interference [RFI] problem caused by these screens. One individual makes a request to report AM reception problems to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian 220 MHz Band Loss?
The Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC) has decided to recommend to Industry Canada that the 220-222 MHz band be transferred from the amateur to the mobile service. The RABC includes in the recommendation that Amateur repeaters in this portion of the band be grandfathered to continue operation for a number of years, with the number to be decided by Industry Canada. Another part suggests a 150 kHz sliver of spectrum in the 220-222 MHz band be designated as public service spectrum to be shared by amateur and mobile services for special public safety and disaster communications applications. For the full story, visit the RAC web site. From QNews
Australian HF Gain
As of January 1st amateur radio operators in Australia have gained exclusive access to 24 kHz of HF spectrum at 3776-3800 kHz for high frequency amateur radio communications between continents.
It aligns well with international arrangements, which means intercontinental communications for Australian amateur radio operators will be improved at these frequencies. From Amateur Radio NewsLine
Towers As A Bird Hazard
An FCC Notice of Inquiry, WT Docket 03-187, released in August seeking information on the effects of communications towers on migratory birds, drew more than 250 comments. Environmental groups have claimed for years that broadcast, cellular and communications towers and antennas are responsible for the wholesale slaughter of migratory birds. One Web site, http://www.towerkill.com, claims a single 1000-foot tower near Eau Claire, Wisconsin has been shown to be responsible for over 121,000 bird deaths from 1957 to 1994. The ARRL has asked the FCC to specifically exempt Amateur Radio antennas and support structures less than 400 feet tall from routine environmental processing relative to their impact on migratory birds. From Various Sources
On The BPL Front
Lots of news hits this past month relating to Broadband Over Power Lines (BPL). PC World magazine focused on the potential interference to ham radio. You can read the article at:
The Tampa Tribune detailed both sides of the B-P-L controversy in the January 5th edition. The link is no longer active for the story, however.
Progress Energy of Raleigh, North Carolina fulfilled its promise to North Carolina Amateur Radio operators when it recently invited several area hams to observe its Phase II Broadband Internet over Power Line (BPL) trial in a rural subdivision south of the city. Catch this report at:
The Austrian Amateur Transmitter Federation reports on a BPL field test in the city of Linz. The Austrian Ministry for Commerce, Innovation and Technology last fall requested that the Linz Power Company's BPL project immediately halt all instances of interference. But the Ministry fell short of altogethershutting down the pilot project. Shortwave broadcaster futureZone service says the case that brought the issue to a head was a Red Cross report that emergency services radio traffic during a disaster response drill last May was the victim of massive BPL interference.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency called on the FCC to require impartial B-P-L field testing as well as additional public comment and full and open public hearings. The Disaster Preparedness organization concluded that serious interference to and disruption of critical
emergency communications systems in several licensed services throughout North America would almost certainly result from BPL implementation as currently proposed.
The Amateur Radio Research and Development Corporation filed additional test data with the FCC. The preliminary findings suggest that BPL systems are susceptible to interference from even modest Amateur Radio HF signals. AMRAD said its newest data demonstrated that amateur operation in the test neighborhood would cause many homes to lose their Internet connectivity.
The CGC Communicator reports on an interesting article from the "TV Technology" web site suggesting a new, higher speed transmission system using the microwave spectrum rather than HF, could indeed be an appropriate response to worries about anticipated interference to HF from Broadband over Power Line operations. And, if you think that microwaves cannot be transmitted over power lines, you might be surprised. Check out the story at:
From Various Sources
BPL Home Version?
A newly developed Matsushita Electric technology may make it possible to provide broadband connectivity to every room in a house via existing home power lines. The company says a Panasonic branded adapter cannot be interfered with by radio amateurs. The unit connects a broadband Internet link such as D-S-L or optical fiber lines to the existing power lines in the home. A user simply plugs the P-L-C adapter into any AC power outlet to create a home broadband networking. Panasonic expects to introduce P-L-C adapters for both consumer and
office use by the end of 2004.
From Amateur Radio NewsLine