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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 11-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - April, 2004

Local Ham Radio News

Mark your calendar for the Amateur Radio Early Response Team (Faribault) Hamfest on 24-Apr. It will be at the Moose Lodge in Faribault (1810 4th Street NW). Door admission is $3 and runs from 8:00 AM to 01:00 PM. VE Exams will also be available. Talk-In on the Faribault Repeater (146.790 PL=100.0). More information is available from arest@hotmail.com

Austin ARC has a VE Exam scheduled for 21-Apr.

SKYWARN Training
With the spring weather coming upon us, don't forget to take advantage of some of the SKYWARN training sessions. The OSCAR Calendar has a complete listing. Within the immediate area are sessions in Bloomington on 03-Apr and Albert Lea on 21-Apr.

Waseca Tornado Revisited
In late April 1967, a tornado in Waseca tore right through the backyard of the residence of Dave Dunlop WHUU. To hear Dave's account of the tornado, visit URL: http://www.waseca.k12.mn.us/vhm/1961-1975/Tornados.htm At the bottom of this page, click on MY MEMORIES, and look for Dave Dunlop's audio review of the event which includes comments relating to radio communications. From MN Section News

Lighting Strikes
Lighting chasers might enjoy the following links to lightning strike information:

Global information is not available in real-time, but can be found at
From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet

Arthritis Walk 2004
OSCAR routinely helps out with the Arthritis Walk. The Arthritis Foundation mailed a notice indicating Owatonna walk will not be held in 2004. If you are interested in helping in the Twin Cirites Walk, contact Chris Fuller at 800-333-1380.

Public Service Opportunity
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the MS 150 bicycle tour to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Minnesota Chapter is seeking riders and volunteers in all capacities to support this event. AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS ARE NEEDED to help in the coordination between rest stops, first aid stations, and support vehicles.
When: Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th, 2004.
Where: Route is Duluth to Lake Elmo with overnight stop in Hinckley.
For further event details visit the MS Society website at: MS150 website. If interested in participating as a rider or volunteer, please contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter at (612) 335-7900 or 1-800-FIGHT-MS From MN Section News

Mass Casualty Drill
On May 8, 2004, the Mower County Chapter of the American Red Cross will have a Mass Casualty Drill. The drill will be a table top simulation of a major disaster in Austin, MN. Mower county emergency personnel will be involved in the tabletop drill to provide accuracy and training.

Austin Area Radio Club members are invited to participate in the Communications Section to provide "Shadows" and a Comm Network for the various disaster functions. This drill will be similar to the Adams drill of 2003 in which the Austin Area Radio Club members made an important contribution to the overall authenticity in a real-time emergency. From Austin ARC

Paul Harvey Does It Again
A few months back, nationally syndicated radio commentator Paul Harvey heaped praise on the Amateur Radio Service.On his Friday, March 12th noontime broadcast the commentator again took note of ham radio and the emergency services we provide. He noted that in any national emergency and with all of the nations sophisticated technology, in any real disaster our country still relies heavily on its Amateur Radio operators. Harvey characterized hams as being ready, willing and able to coordinate with emergency services while keeping the public informed to a degree that commercial radio stations cannot. He then singled out the Tri-State Amateur Radio Club of Cresco, Iowa, noting that this group will be honored by the Points of Light Foundation on March 29th. Harvey concluded his report saying that President Bush has called for more citizen involvement in civic activities. Harvey says this includes a lot of people and organizations, but none more unsung and certainly none more unpaid than the hams standing by around the clock.

The ARRL released a story on the award at http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/03/17/1/?nc=1. From Newsline

On-line Technician Licensing Class
Prospective hams can study for their ticket using the League's new on-line Technician Class Course for Ham Radio Licensing (EC-010). Two new classes will open each month and students may sign up anytime via the ARRL Web site or by calling the New Ham Hotline, 800-326-3942. Class sessions begin April 6 and April 20. The Technician course takes 20 to 25 hours to complete, and those finishing the class will take their tests at a volunteer examiner test session. The course will closely follow the popular ARRL license manual Now You're Talking!. The course fee--$99 for ARRL members and $139 non-members--includes a copy of the book. From ARRL Letter

World Amateur Radio Day
The theme for World Amateur Radio Day 2004 is "Radio Amateurs: Pioneers in Bridging Barriers to World Understanding." Commemorating the anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), World Amateur Radio Day takes place each year on April 18. This year, the IARU marks its 79th anniversary. The 2004 theme is intended to emphasize the IARU's long history of bringing people together across geographic, cultural, and political barriers. Created in Paris, the IARU has been the watchdog and spokesman for the world Amateur Radio community since 1925. The worldwide federation of national Amateur Radio organizations represents some three million radio amateurs in 159 countries. For more information, visit the IARU Web site From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet

Beacon Network
The beacon network operated by the IARU and the Northern California DX Foundation deserves a mention every once in a while. The 18 beacon stations operate all over the world on 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters. Details are at www.ncdxf.org/beacons.html. The NCDXF website lists many software tools for use with the beacon network at www.ncdxf.org/Beacon/BeaconPrograms.html. From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet

So What Else Is New?
The ARRL was notified that folks are receiving e-mail messages alleging to be from the ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service, "The ARRL.net team" or some variation. The messages, which often carry a subject line along the lines of "Warning about your e-mail account," indicate that the recipient's ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service @arrl.net address will be closed within three days because of an alleged violation of acceptable practices. These messages are false and did not come from The ARRL Forwarding Service. They are the result of one of the variants on a number of viruses now permeating the Internet. From ARRL Letter

License Restructuring
The FCC is seeking comment on three plans that would reshape the Amateur Service licensing structure. Comments are due by April 24 on all four petitions. Interested parties may view and comment on these petitions via the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. When entering the RM number in the ECFS "Proceeding" field, RM must be in capital letters and the hyphen must be included.

Designated RM-10867, ARRL's petition asks the FCC to create a new entry-level license class--being called "Novice" for now. It would offer limited HF CW/data and phone/image privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters plus certain VHF and UHF privileges. The League plan also would consolidate Technician, Tech Plus (Technician with Element 1 credit) and General licensees into a new General license that no longer would require a Morse examination. Current Technician and Tech Plus licensees automatically would gain General privileges, and Advanced license holders automatically would be upgraded to Extra without further testing. Applicants for Amateur Extra would still have to pass a 5 WPM Morse code examination, but the General and Extra written exams would stay the same.

The Radio Amateur Foundation (RAF) filed RM-10868 asking the FCC to modify the Technician ticket to allow limited HF phone, image, data and CW privileges. HF phone/image privileges would be restricted to portions of the 160, 15 and 10-meter bands. The group also proposes retaining the 5 WPM Morse requirement for General and Amateur Extra applicants, upgrading Advanced class holders to Extra and Novices to Technician. The Radio Amateur Foundation said it sees no need to change licensing requirements for General or Amateur Extra applicants. The RAF also wants to scrap existing Amateur Radio question pools and start over from scratch, keeping the question pools out of the public domain and requiring a 10-day waiting period before retesting. In addition, it would permit only Generals and Amateur Extras--or Technicians licensed more than two years--to request vanity call signs.

RM-10869 was filed by Ronald D. Lowrance K4SX, calls on the FCC to retain the 5 WPM Morse code requirement for General class applicants and to raise the Morse requirement to 13 WPM for Amateur Extra class applicants. He called Morse code "the most reliable mode of communication" in an emergency. Lowrance would make no change in Technician licensing requirements.

The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) filed RM-10870 to establish a new "Communicator" entry-level license. Its petition, designated , reiterates the NCVEC's call--first made last fall in RM-10787--to altogether eliminate the Morse code testing requirement. The NCVEC petition would upgrade all current Novices to Communicator class, all current Technician and Tech Plus (Technician with Element 1credit) licensees to General and all Advanced class licensees to Amateur Extra without further testing. Once the Morse requirement goes away, the NCVEC said in its filing, "there will be no effective difference between the Technician and General class licenses. The new Communicator ticket would permit a power limit of 100 W on bands below 24 MHz and 50 W on all frequencies above 24 MHz. Communicator licensees would have to use commercially manufactured equipment (or gear built from a commercial kit). Communicator licensees could operate both voice and digital modes on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters plus VHF and UHF up to 70 cm.

On The BPL Front
Cincinnati Ohio may be among the first to have Broadband over Powerlines across the entire area. According a March 2nd release, Cinergy Broadband is pairing with the Maryland based Current Communications Group to offer the service in parts of Cincinnati this year. Plans also call for an expansion into Kentucky and Indiana as the regional system grows.

Meantime, a story in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal about Amateur Radio's stand against BPL is raising the eyre off many in the nations ham radio community. The item appears to take the position that radio amateurs are alone in opposing BPL. Also, that their doing do is holding back the flow of progress in technology. From Newsline

BPL Comment Filing
The FCC says anyone filing comments on the its Broadband over Power Line (BPL) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in ET Dockets 03-104 and 04-37 should reference only the latter docket number, not both docket numbers. The deadline to file comments is Monday, May 3. Reply comments are due Tuesday, June 1. Written comments may be filed via the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/.