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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 11-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - September, 2004

Around Town

  • Kris KCREO broke ground on his new tower installation. He is manually digging a 6-foot square hole, 4-feet deep. Kris was successful in getting approval for his tower that should set the stage for others. Thanks for breaking new ground (literally and figuratively).
  • Kris also reports a new harmonic in the household. Julia arrived at 8lb-8oz in mid-August. Congratulations to the Christenson family.
  • Willis KAKEL reports he is undertaking the Level II Emergency Communications Course. The Level II course is intended to educate individuals to be emergency coordinators. Good luck Willis!

OSCAR Special Event Station
OSCAR operated a special event station 28-Aug, recognizing the 150th anniversary of Owatonna. Operators were Kris KC0REO, Dale WB0PKG, and Charlie K0HNY. About 30 QSOs were completed.

Rochester Special Event Station
The Rochester ARC also will be having a Special Event Station for Rochester's Sesquicentennial. Look for WU from 0000Z Sep 9 through 0000Z Sep 20. Anticipated frequencies are 28.380, 21.380, 14.280, and 7.280. Good Luck to the RARC on their event.

Austin ARC VE Test Session From Austin ARC
The Austin ARC reported the results of their test session was held on July 21st. Two candidates successfully tested. Anders Mattson, a young man from Geneva, passed his Technician test. Also Lou from Rochester passed his Extra test. Next scheduled test session will be Oct. 20, 2004.

Austin ARC Tailgate Hamfest From MN Section News
Austin Area Amateur Radio Club is having a tailgate hamfest on the 11th of September. It starts at 10 AM, and will be at Johnny's Main Event parking lot (East Fence), 1130 North Main Street.

New MN Section Manager From ARRL
Richard H. ''Skip'' Jackson, KS0J, of Inver Grove Heights, was elected ARRL MN Section Manager. Skip was elected with a 646 / 332 vote margin over Chuck Gysi, N2DUP, of Rochester. Jackson will succeed SM Randy ''Max'' Wendel, KM0D, who has served as the MN SM since 1993.

Minnesota Section Net From Austin ARC
This is a CW traffic net and is in need of traffic to keep it going. The net airs daily at 6:30 PM and 9:50 PM daily on 3.605 MHz. Dean KA0RMP is heavily involved with this net and he has requested local hams to come up with messages to pass. Anyone curious about this net cancontact Dean.

Microsoft Settlement
The details of the Microsoft settlement with the State of Minnesota were announced. You can apply for vouchers redeemable for cash after the purchase of a wide variety of software and hardware products. Vouchers are worth $15 for an MS Windows or MS-DOS operating systems, $23 for MS Office, $9 for MS Word or MS Works, and $23 for MS Excel. Qualifying purchases date back to 18-May-1994. Details can be found at:

Another Amateur Radio Links Page From ARRL
HamPage.com is an Amateur Radio Web start page (or "jump page") with categorized links to must-see online ham radio information. This site is a timesaving default browser page for ham shack computers. Open up your browser with HamPage.com and with one click and no scrolling, you can go to major Amateur Radio Web sites, as well as popular and useful radio resources on the Internet. For example, you can quickly go to major sites like the ARRL and RAC home pages, check the UTC time, pull up a grey line map, perform a DX prefix lookup, check propagation at NW7US's site, go directly to eBay's ham radio page, etc.

IC Data Sheets From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Can't find the data sheet for that digital or analog IC? Try the Univ. of WA Electrical Engineering Department's resource page at

ARRL National and Hamvention Combine For 2005 From Newsline
The ARRL accepted an invitation from planners of Hamvention 2005 to bring the society's national convention back to Dayton. The combined show will take place next May 20th to the 22nd at its longtime home. That of coarse is the Hara Arena in suburban Dayton.

WINLINK 2000 From MN Section News
WinLink 2000 is something you are going to hear more about. The WinLink 2K concept is a means of, for all practical purposes, taking email messages as we know it and moving them around via amateur radio. WinLink has been around a few years and is growing in popularity. A recent ARRL BOD meeting endorsed WinLink 2K as the software interface for moving messages via amateur radio. A unique application of the format allows interfacing with served agencies and their ability to send and receive emails. Hardware components of the system would monitor internet activity and allow emails to be handled via WinLink 2K automatically if the internet was down or unavailable. This just scratches the surface of the concept, however. To learn more about WinLink 2000 and checkout Sample ARES Presentation in either PowerPoint or .pdf, see:

Navy Satellite Tracking From CGC Communicator
The U.S. Navy has built an exotic radar system to track earth orbiting satellites, and the system has been in place for many years. Now, thanks to a couple of sleuths, details of the Navy's system have been posted on the web. If you think UHF broadcast antennas have high gain, wait until you see the giant array built near Lake Kickapoo, Texas. This two mile long antenna transmits continuously on 216.98 MHz with an unmodulated carrier, and has a beamwidth of only 0.02 degrees in one plane. So powerful is the transmitted signal that when the moon passes through the beam, the return echo is said to be detectable on earth with only a dipole antenna attached to a receiver. The Navy's satellite tracking system consists of multipletransmit and receive sites across the U.S., and one of thereceive sites just happens to be located in San Diego County a few miles north of Brown Field according to web-published coordinate data. See more information at: www.gate.net/~tomk/navspasur/navspasur5.html www.jump.net/~crossley/NAVSPASUR/index.html

Automating Emergency Alerts From Newsline
A new technology soon to debut in 12 states will significantly extend Amber alerts, reaching cell phones, e-mail and handheld computers. It could also be used to transmit weather and terrorism alerts. According to news reports the system uses a simple broadcast technology that takes the information from a Web portal and reconfigures it for different types of broadcast. By way of example, a state department of transportation might receive it in one format for its road signs and another for its information number. More important, people with cell phones can sign up to receive Amber alerts with their local county or with state authorities. The text of an alert can be sent immediately to local TV news stations and Web sites.

Repeater Listing
The Minnesota Repeater Council has an online repeater listing at: www.mrc.gen.mn.us/MN_List.pdf

Radio Mobile Software
This software is a tool used to predict the performance of a radio system. It uses digital terrain elevation data for automatic extraction of path profile between an emitter and a receiver. Radio Mobile software is a copyright of Roger Coud VE2DBE. Radio Mobile is dedicated to amateur radio, non-commercial use. I found it difficult to get everything set up the first time, but it is fun to use and experiment with. It is available for download at:

BRL Update From Multiple Sources
The Rochester ARC did not have anything new posted on their web site. Mention was made in their meeting minutes of measurements made in the test area.

According to the CGC newsletter, San Diego Gas & Electric's communication systems planners are seriously considering endorsing and sponsoring B-P-L on the unility's power distribution system. According to CGC and its unnamed source, San Diego Gas & Electric is aware that deployment of B-P-L in its service arera could cause considerable radio frequency interference. CGC says that these plans should be of concern to all users of the High Frequeny and low band VHF spectrum. This includes TV Channels 2 through 5 and possibly even Channel 6. The latter because spurious and harmonic energy could reach these higher frequencies.

The W5YI VEC reports that Central Texas-based Broadband Horizons has launched B-P-L operations in three Texas communities. The pilot projects were launched in mid-June in the towns of Blanco, Burnet and Weimar. According to Mike Steele, Burnet's City Manager, the community has had great success with the initial start-up. He says the city plans to expand B-P-L service it to additional parts of the municipality.

Spokane, Washington has also opted for Wi-Fi over B-P-L. This as that city inaugurates a wireless Internet access system covering 100 blocks of downtown Spokane. The wireless zone uses new technology that allows Internet signals to be transmitted more than a mile. This is far beyond the traditional 200- to 300-foot range of previous Wi-Fi systems. The Wi-Fi area is divided into a private network for use by the city and an open network for the public. Public users can connect for two hours a day at no charge, and subscription plans are in the works for extended use. One Eighty Networks provided the networking for the project.

Progress Energy Corporation (PEC) says it's completed Phase II of its broadband over power line (BPL) field trial in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area. In an August 4 PEC internal memorandum made available to ARRL, the company said its program to "test the viability of providing broadband service to communities it serves" will wrap up by the end of August. The company reportedly will shut down the system once it's able to move its BPL customers to other broadband providers. The PEC memorandum acknowledged Amateur Radio interference complaints.

The ARRL has asked the FCC to immediately shut down a broadband over power line (BPL) field trial in the Cottonwood, Arizona, area because it's causing "severe interference" to Amateur Radio communication. Electric Broadband LLC and utility APS have been operating the BPL experiment at two Yavapai County sites since June under a Special Temporary Authorization (STA) the FCC granted to Electric Broadband in March. Michael Kinney, KU7W, filed the first Amateur Radio complaint in June. It cited testing by the Verde Valley Amateur Radio Association (VVARA) in the 1.8-30 MHz range showing that BPL interference makes attempts at ham radio communication useless.

The League said VVARA and ARRL testing indicates levels of radiated RF energy on amateur HF allocations is "extremely high," well in excess of the FCC Part 15 levels with which Electric Broadband told the FCC it would comply. VVARA testing revealed "actual harmful interference" from the BPL system to mobile stations in the vicinity and to the fixed station of David Kiggins, KB7KMR. Distances ranged from between 30 and 70 feet from BPL equipment to 0.56 mile and 0.71 mile from Kiggins station antenna, the League said.

VVARA submitted a lengthy and comprehensive report to the two companies and to the Commission in late July detailing the interference issues arising from the Cottonwood BPL field trial. The VVARA took baseline measurements in January, before the BPL trial began, and it's continued taking measurements since the system's startup to determine the extent of interference. ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, conducted independent tests of the Cottonwood BPL system in July, and the League attached a summary of his findings to its letter.

The Cincinnati area's Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) Amateur Radio team won't ramp up its activities until Cinergy Corp rolls out its BPL system over a broader area than that of typical BPL field trials to date. Cinergy's is being touted as the first large-scale commercial BPL deployment in the US. The BPL rollout initially will make broadband service available to some 8000 customers. While Cinergy isn't saying publicly, it's estimated that 1000 or more customers already have signed up for the service. Cinergy eventually hopes to have up to 55,000 subscribers on board by the end of its first year. Plans call for expanding BPL service to Northern Kentucky and to the remainder of the utility's Southwest Ohio service area next year.