OSCAR IN The News
OSCAR's Field Day activities received a mention in the MN Section e-Signals. Max KMØD took some editorial liberty and noted that chef Willis cooked HAMburgers. Wish I had thought about that one.
- Vern WØVLT is working on a tower installation.
- Kris KCØREO made a long drive to Chicago to pickup a tower acquisition. Kris is having discussions with Jay Bellows KØQB from the ARRL about some of the issues relating to the building inspector requirements.
- Ron KCØRKI was uncovered in the FCC data base. Ron indicated his interest is radio transmission of telemetry data from an on-board GPS system in high power rockets. Check out the rocket club website at:
- Tom NØUW completed the Level I Emergency Communications on-line course offered through the ARRL. Willis KAØKEL also is a graduate.
- Tom NØUW and Willis KAØKEL received updated credentials for the ARRL VE program. Let us know if you have current VE credentials from the ARRL or W5YI program.
OSCAR Special Event Station
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Owatonna, OSCAR will operate a special event station on 28-Aug from 1400Z to 2300Z. Look for KCØBXJ on 14.270 and 7.270. Final details will be resolved at the August OSCAR meeting. Anyone interested in helping should contact Kris KCØREO.
MN Section Elections
ARRL Members need to remember to mail in their vote for MN Section Manager. Ballots must be received at ARRL HQ by 20-Aug. See the candidate's web sites at:
-----Chuck Gysi N2DUP http://www.radiohams.net
-----Skip Jackson KSØJ http://www.skipforhams.com
Thanks, once again, to Max KMØD for his service to the MN Amateur Radio community.
Radio and Rocket Record
From CGC Communicator
Recognizing the interest in rockets by Ron KCØRKI -- A month before SpaceShipOne successfully penetrated space (defined as an altitude of 100 km), an amateur rocket broke the same barrier, and was the first amateur rocket to do so. Whereas SpaceShipOne barely reached the 100 km mark, the 21-foot, 10-inch diameter "GoFast" rocket attained an altitude of 123 km. The rocket was launched from Nevada's Black Rock Desert and carried an amateur radio avionics package. Nice photos and write ups at:
Marlon Brando, KE6PZH/FO8GJ, SK
From Multiple Sources
One of the best-known names in cinema--Marlon Brando, KE6PZH/FO8GJ--died in Los Angeles July 1. Brando appears in the FCC database under his real name, "Martin Brandeaux," while his FO8GJ listing indicates both his real and his screen names. Brando held a US General class ticket. He was on the air occasionally over the years as FO8GJ from his private island in French Polynesia. Few people ever reported hearing him on the air. When they did, he gave his name as Martin not Marlon. In a Larry King interview, Brando affirmed his continued interest in Amateur Radio. In response to a caller's question, he said ham radio provided him with the opportunity to just be himself.
If you want to check out who some other famous hams might be, check out:
Echo satellite (AO-51) Update
AO-51 was scheduled to be turned on for general use in FM repeat mode Friday, July 30, at about 0215 UTC, for a trial period of about three weeks. The Echo FM voice uplink frequency is 145.920 MHz, and the downlink is 435.300 MHz. The downlink transmitter will come on when it hears an uplink signal with a 67 Hz CTCSS (PL) tone for about 1 second, and it will stay on for 10 seconds after that signal goes away.
Initially, the AO-51 downlink transmitter will be running at about 1 W, and AMSAT says that at that power level, Earth stations will need a small directional antenna to hear it. If onboard power permits, ground controllers will slowly increase the transmitter's output during the trial period. Ground controllers also will be adjusting various settings on the satellite, so the signal may change slightly from time to time. Echo is still "wobbling a great deal," so the downlink polarization sense will vary.
ICOM Comic Book
From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
ICOM has just published a great new comic book designed for pre-teens and teens. "The Adventures of Zack and Max, The Odyssey Begins" is an up-to-date Japanese comic style popular today. A coloring book version is also available for younger kids. Both books can be downloaded at no cost from:
FCC Communications History Exhibit
From CGC Communicator
The FCC has introduced the third in a series of exhibits on the history of various communications technologies. The latest presentation focuses on the history of the
Internet, including the communication technologies used to access the World Wide Web. More is
on line at:
Youth Group Net
Timothy Little, W8LBO has announced the start-up of a new 40 meter 275 Youth Group. This is an informal ragchew group that meets every Saturday at 9:00 P.M. Eastern time on 7.275 MHz. Little says that the main purpose of the net is to promote the use of HF by younger hams so that they can get to know one another. The net also tries to help them perfect their operating skills including Morse code operation and D-Xing. More information is available at:
FEMA Independent Study Program
The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers more than forty independent study courses. These are self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public. For most of our courses you will need to download and print the materials. Others are interactive courses that you can take directly over the internet on the NETC Virtual Campus. All are offered free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment. Each Independent Study Course includes lessons with practice exercises and a final examination. Students who score 75 percent or better are issued a certificate of achievement from EMI. See the course listing at:
A Blog for Hams
www.HamBlog.Com is a free Weblog (blog) hosting service reserved for the use of Amateur Radio operators. Charles Brabham, N5PVL, explains the reason for the existence of HamBlog, "Hams have a lot of information to pass on to each other that traditional information systems such as magazine articles or speaking engagements at fests have proven to be unsuitable for. Weblogs are a highly flexible and individualistic system that may help us to fill in those gaps. It is our hope that the public Weblogs at HamBlog will provide a wellspring of knowledge about Amateur Radio that would be difficult to express, access, or distribute via traditional methods. Perhaps in some way HamBlog will expand the capabilities of our present `Elmering' setup, which many feel has suffered and diminished in recent decades."
From CGC Communicator
The FCC clarified its role regarding interference issues, consumer antennas and Part 15 unlicensed equipment. Regarding antennas, consumers have the right to install and operate - on property they control - antennas for over-the-air broadcast, terrestrial and satellite reception. The FCC has now added license-free Wi-Fi antennas of one meter or less to the list of what may be installed. The same one meter size limit also applies to antennas used in conjunction with fixed wireless services that are licensed by the FCC.
The FCC also idicated that it and it alone holds exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation and resolution of R-F-I issues. It adds that regulation of R-F-I phenomena shall be imposed only by the Commission noting that both the FCC and the federal courts have overturned attempts by third parties to regulate RFI matters. Read more at:
Telescoping Fiberglass Mast
From CGC Communicator
Here's a handy gadget. The Mast Company has announced the availability of a 32 foot fiberglass telescopic pole ($115) suitable for supporting lightweight items. The pole collapses to 46 inches for transportation and storage. According to the company, these poles are "very strong" and were "originally designed for windsocks." Stackable Aluminum tubing and other assorted goodies are also available from The Mast Company at:
FCC Promotes Unlicensed Broadband
From CGC Communicator
The FCC has changed its rules in order to promote the use of unlicensed broadband service in rural areas. "Smart antennas" will permit a greater number of users to be served within the
same spectrum by reusing frequencies in several directions simultaneously. Other rule changes were also made. Two separate Commission actions:
Mexico Adopts US HDTV Standard
From CGC Communicator
Mexico has formally adopted the U.S. (ATSC) Digital Television Standard for terrestrial broadcasting. Since Canada adopted the same standard in 1997, it can now be said that ATSC is the North American DTV standard. ATSC has also been adopted by South Korea (November 1997) and Argentina (October 1998).
BPL Update From Multiple Sources
Rochester Amateur Radio Club reports the RPU/HBC BPL trail site was activitated with the first home connected on Thursday, July 15. The photo at right (click to enlarge) shows BPL injector (black box), repeater (gray box) and RF coupler between power phase lines installed in BPL trial area. Emissions from the BPL site have been detected and measured using ham equipment. RPU plans to lower repeater power settings and try frequency notching algorithms that hardware provider Main.net has used elsewhere. Emissions from the BPL trial will continue to be monitored on the amateur radio bands. HBC plans to begin testing on August 3 of VOIP (Voice-Over-IP) and power metering at the Hy-Vee grocery store. The upgrade to the "next generation" hardware from Main.net is targeted for September.
FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell again asserted on 15-Jul that broadband over power line technology "holds the great promise to bring high-speed Internet access to every power outlet in America." Powell's statement followed a demonstration of BPL technology at AT&T Labs co-sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company and AT&T. "What I saw today has the potential to play a key role in meeting our goals to expand the availability and affordability of broadband," Powell said. "The future is bright for powerline broadband. We'll continue at the FCC to explore ways to support this technology while protecting other services from interference."
AMSAT North America cites harmonics and mixing products in its filing to the FCC. One of these is the generation harmonics that every transmitter produced. Mixing products are generated by combinations of two or more RF carriers being present in a nonlinear medium. AMSAT indicated the mixing products along with the harmonics of a BPL system will appear at VHF and higher frequencies (2 meters, 220 and above). Moreover, being higher in frequency, they will radiate more readily from the power lines carrying them than will the fundamental frequencies actually being used to access to the BPL system itself.
Amateur Radio operators in the Cincinnati area are organizing a Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) team to monitor a planned BPL deployment. The group will study the effects of a BPL rollout in two neighborhoods by utility Cinergy Corp.
The broadband provider that's been testing BPL in the Village of Penn Yan, New York, now reportedly will "move away" from that technology. The broadband provider, Data Ventures (DVI), indicated it did not feel BPL was "commercially deployable, citing issues with the BPL trial including security concerns and interference.