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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 11-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - May, 2004

!!! Timber !!!
A small OSCAR group was found cutting down a 40+ foot tall Rohn 25. Charlie KHNY, Willis KAKEL, Paul WFEI, and Kris KCREO scavenged the tower from the bank building being torn down at the corner of 18th Ave SW and Cedar Ave. All went well until the tower got caught in the adjoining tree on the way down. It eventually landed softly, being padded by the evergreens next to the building.

Rochester Amateur Radio Club
The RARC appeared on KTTC Channel 10 in Rochester. Here's a URL for the text of the report: msnbc.com.
From MN Section News

Waseca County Storm Ready
Waseca County Emergency Management and Waseca County Skywarn amateur radio members recently received the Storm Ready award present by Chanhassen NWS Chief Meteorologist, Craig Edwards. This designation is held by only 4 MN counties and a handful of communities throughout the state. From MN Section News

Austin ARC VE Session
The Austin ARC reported the results of the VE session held on April 21. Of the 5 candidates, 2 candidates successfully completed their exams. One passed his General written and the other passed his 5 wpm code test. The next test session is scheduled for July 21, 2004. From Austin ARC

Ham Radio Classes
Bloomington will hold a Technician class over the weekend of May 21-23. Class will be held Fri evening and Sat and Sun from 8am-5pm. Course will be based on "Now You're Talking." To register, contact Bob kt0t@arrl.net.

The Rochester Amateur Radio Club is offering a ham radio class. The class will meet on Saturday, May 8, and Saturday, May 15. The class will cover all topics required to pass the Element 3 written examination plus help to those who need to pass the Element 1 Morse code examination of 5 words/minute. Information on the class and registration information is available on the RARC web site at http://www.rarchams.org. From MN Section News

Mower County Disaster Drill
The Austin ARC received an invitation from the Mower County Red Cross to participate in a disaster drill on Saturday, 08-May. Additional details can be found at Red Cross. From Austin ARC

Pre-December 2003 Form 605
Effective with Monday, May 3, receipts, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will dismiss any applications filed on an FCC Form 605 issued earlier than December 2003. Form 605, Quick-Form Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur, Restricted, and Commercial Operator, and General Mobile Radio Service, is the hard-copy version of the Amateur Service application. The change does not affect applicants filing on-line with the Universal Licensing System.

All amateur applicants must have and use an FRN when filing an application such as Form 605 with the FCC. Under the system going into effect in May, applicants not yet registered in CORES and filing on paper will need to file FCC Form 160 (CORES Registration) to obtain a FCC Registration Number (FRN). After the FCC has issued an FRN, applicants also might want to file FCC Form 606 to associate the FRN with an individual's license record(s) and call sign(s). CORES registration data and FCC license data are maintained in separate FCC databases. From ARRL

New Morse Character
The International Morse code will officially gain a new character on May 3. That's when the now-familiar "@" symbol is set to join the Morse lexicon as the letters "AC" run together. The @ symbol never rose to the level of usage that demanded a unique Morse character until it gained currency as a critical component of e-mail addresses during the past decade or so. From ARRL

Ham Radio for Dummies
"Ham Radio for Dummies" by N0AX is supposed to be available from general and ham radio booksellers. It's a real, yellow-and-black "for Dummies" book. Aimed at the beginning and prospective ham, it contains 384 pages of material, a tear-out cheat sheet, tons of Web links and references, tables, photos (there's even one of Riley Hollingsworth's station), and graphics. Get one to a friend or neighbor that is thinking about joining us in our splendid hobby. The well-known Dummies cover and presentation should make them feel right at home. Check it out at your favorite bookseller or at amazon.com.
ARRL Contest Rate Sheet

W1AW 2004 Spring/Summer Operating Schedule
The current operating schedule for W1AW is posted at www.arrl.org/w1aw.html. It includes bulletins, code practice, and qualifying runs. From ARRL

Rohn Tower Alternative
Array Solutions and AN Wireless are teaming up as the exclusive distributors of Nello Industries tower products. Nello is manufacturing their own versions of the Rohn Industries, Inc 25, 45, 55, and 65G tower series and accessories, updated to the latest EIA/TIA standards. Complete tower packages will be available from both distributors. From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet

Satellite QRM
It now been shown that QRM that is occurring to ham radio satellites. Its primarily but not exclusively to 145 MHz satellite uplinks and mainly occurs when the birds are flying over Africa and the Middle East. According to AMSAT, IARU Region 1 has a Monitoring Service which has been active for some years but which has, up to now, concentrated on frequencies below 30 MHz. In view of the wide area of QRM that can be caused by satellites and their ability to relay signals across international borders, the monitoring team has now agreed to scrutinize the satellite subbands as well.

Right now, what is needed are regular reports detailing instances of interference to the ham-sats along with audio files to back up each claim. The audio files will enable more precise identification of accents and dialects of those heard interfering. Hopefully, this will be a first step in getting those causing the interference off the satellites and off the ham bands as well.From Newsline

Mobile Mount Check-Up
With warmer weather here, take a minute to check your mobile antenna mount. If you have the "standard" three-quarter inch threaded mount, unscrew the antenna base from the mount and check the center tab of the mount. It may be dirty and oxidized from winter elements Shine up the center tab with a small piece of fine sandpaper, or lightly scratch the layer of dirt with the end of a small blade flat screwdriver until you see shiny metal. Also, check the tab of the antenna base. If you have an antenna with a spring loaded pin, take an ohm-meter and put your VOM on it's lowest setting (i.e. 20ohms). Ohm out the pin to the whip to assure zero resistance. Corrosion can get inside the base and cause a small resistance which will reduce signals. With one probe on the whip, press the end of the other probe into the end of the spring loaded pin and press upward, testing for any resistances which may occur only when the pin is push up slightly. From MN Section News

RFID Deployment On 70-cm
RFID tags are used to track shipments and packing containers. Citing homeland security, the FCC has adopted a somewhat limited proposal to permit deployment of RF Identification (RFID) tags on the 70-cm band. The proposal allows operation at much greater duty cycles than current Part 15 rules permit for such devices. The Third R & O would increase the maximum radiated field strength permitted for such devices as well as the maximum permissible duty cycle--from one second to one minute. The longer duty cycle would allow an RFID to transmit the contents of an entire shipping container.

Certain accommodations were made to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). There are limits to the operating band for such RFID tags to 433.5 to 434.5 MHz, instead of the 425 to 435 MHz originally asked for. Operation of RFID tag systems is prohibited within 40 km (about 25 miles) of five government radar sites. Manufacturers of 433 MHz RFID systems would have to register the locations of their system base stations to aid in interference resolution.

Rochester BPL
At the March Rochester ARC meeting a program was presented on plans for the Rochester Public Utility trial of BPL. This trial is organized as a partnership between RPU and Hiawatha Broadband Communications of Winona. HBC would rent lines from RPU, and provide all content. Internet service would be the initial focus, but it could also provide cable TV. RPU wants to bring hams on board, for hands-on testing of RFI. RFI problems that have occurred in other sites are claimed to be due to older technology. If problems are still there, "we'll have to confront that." The initial test will be in 10-20 homes, probably in SE Rochester, for 2-3 months starting July 1. In October the trial will be expanded to 100 homes, including some hams, and testing in a variety of service situations. From RARC

Elsewhere On The BPL Front
According to news accounts, the Western New York community of Pen Yan will consider approval of a 10-year agreement with Data Ventures (DVI) to offer BPL service in Penn Yan. A report from ARRL member Dave Hallidy K2DH indicates that BPL noise "appears to start in earnest around the bottom of the 17 meter band (18 MHz) and continues upwards." He said that once he tuned above 18 MHz, there were no frequencies where the BPL noise was not observed. "The signals were pretty uniform from 18 to 30 MHz," he said.

Progress Energy has made a concerted effort to move BPL signals out of the ham bands in their trial areas near Raleigh, North Carolina. But problems persist, and the process is far from quick and simple. Progress Energy/Amperion essentially are attempting to "notch out" or completely avoid ham radio frequencies, since hams have been the only HF users so far to file interference complaints. Complicating the effort, he says, is that the process is largely hit or miss, requiring field monitoring and feedback and sometimes another attempt to nail the target.

But the systems, which are governed by FCC Part 15 and are prohibited from interfering with licensed services, are still radiating signals across much of the rest of the short-wave spectrum.

The electric utility testing has also drawn a virtual line in the sand on how far it plans to go to mitigate interference to Amateur Radio. Responding this week to the FCC about BPL interference complaints from hams, Progress Energy Corp (PEC) told the FCC that the company has, for all intents and purposes, eliminated any harmful interference from its BPL trial site and now complies with FCC rules.

"It is PEC's position and interpretation of the FCC's rules with regard to 'harmful interference' that any interference that may still exist is not 'harmful' as that term is defined by the FCC's rules," Len Anthony, PEC's attorney for regulatory affairs, told James Burtle, chief of the FCC's Experimental License Branch. "This level of interference does not seriously degrade ham radio operation or transmissions or cause repeated interruptions." Some, but not all, of PEC's BPL field trials are covered by an FCC Part 5 experimental license. Anthony noted that since PEC can modify its Amperion BPL system to totally eliminate interference to fixed stations, "the only impact of any kind upon ham operations is upon mobile operators." PEC concluded that since BPL interference to mobiles would by "very short lived," the company is not causing harmful interference and is in "full compliance" with FCC Part 15 rules.
From Varioius Sources