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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 11-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - December, 2004
Around Town
  • Kris KCREO has some aluminum on top of his tower. Rumor has it the FAA was inspecting it to see if he needed navigation lights. See pictures by Willis KAKEL.
  • The December issue of QST confirmed OSCAR's claimed score of 1,490 points for Field Day.
  • The Austin ARC reports a successful VE session in October.

OSCAR Elections
OSCAR operates on a calendar year basis. Elections for new officers (President, Treasurer, and Secretary) will be held at the December meeting. Electronic voting will not be used to provide an appropriate paper trail in the event of a recount. Along with the elections, membership renewal ($10) is also applicable.

Missing in Action
OSCAR maintains an e-mail list. This list is primarilly used to issue notification that the newsletter has been updated and posted. Several have had e-mails bounce, presumably due to e-mail addresses changing. We are looking for current information for the following folks:

  • WDGZX - Steve Hagen
  • KCNB - Bob Hollinger
  • KUOY - Gene Kispert
  • KCFBV - Steve Dykhuis
  • NGZK - Jeff Dube

ARRL-NWS SKYWARN Recognition Day From Multiple Sources
The sixth annual ARRL-National Weather Service SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) pays tribute to Amateur Radio SKYWARN volunteers for the vital services they provide during weather-related emergencies. Radio amateurs set up stations at National Weather Service (NWS) offices and work as a team to contact other hams around the world.

The 2004 activity gets under way December 4 at 0000 UTC (Friday, December 3, in US time zones) and continues until 2400 UTC. The object is for amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6 and 2 meters, and 70 cm. Contacts via repeaters and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) modes also are permitted. Operators will exchange call sign, signal report, QTH, and a one or two word description of their weather, such as "sunny," "partly cloudy," "windy," etc. See NOAA for additional information.

Pearl Harbor Special Events

  • The Historical Electronics Museum Amateur Radio Club will use W2W 04-Dec through 07-Dec. Additional information is on-line at www.qsl.nwt/w3gr
  • The U-S-S Kidd Amateur Radio Club will operate on 07-Dec. Additional information is on-line at www.lsu.edu/brarc

VOIP Telephony From PC World
The Federal Communications Commission Tuesday yanked jurisdiction on Internet telephony away from states. The commission voted 4-1 to exempt Vonage Holdings Corp.'s DigitalVoice Voice over Internet Protocol phone service from Minnesota telephone taxes and certification standards, including 911 emergency call capability. The FCC is setting a standard essential to free the VoIP industry from state laws that can hinder growth and prosperity. FCC Chairman Powell says the ruling "firmly puts the commission" in charge of the VoIP regulation.

Pavek Museum of Broadcasting
A neat side trip when in the Cities is the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. Located just east of Highway 100, off the West 36th Street exit, the museum houses a collection of over 1,000 pieces of antique radio, television, and broadcast equipment. Highlights include a working 1912 rotary spark-gap transmitter, similar to the one used aboard the Titanic, crystal radios of the early Twenties, and a chronologically ordered collection of vacuum tubes. More information is available at Pavek.

Amateur Licenses Temporailly Halted From Multiple Sources
Due to a software glitch, the FCC stopped issuing Amateur Radio Liceenses for a 5-day period. The problem apparently started after a software upgrade on 28-Oct. The U-L-S had begun issuing Group D call signs - the 2 X 3 ones - to new licensees out of sequence. The system came back on-line on Nov. 10, and the FCC began issuing letters cancelling the out-of-sequence call signs and awarding the proper call signs to new licensees.

Morse Code From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
There was a nice story about Morse being alive and well. You can access it at the BBC.

Distributed Loaded Monopole From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
You may have read about the new Distributed Loaded Monopole (DLM) antenna. The designer, K1DFT published a presentation explaining the design. You can build one and use it, but need permission to build more than one and a license would be needed for commercial applications.

UO-22 SK From Newsline
UO-22 was launched in July 1991 from Kourou, French Guiana. It served for many years as the store and forward satellite for Amateur Radio packet and the world wide Sat Gate service. The AMSAT News Service worked on the problem, indicating that the cause of the satellite's demise is unknown. It may be related to problems with the satellites batteries which have been in space for more than 10 years. The Ground Station control center at the University of Surrey has attempted several times in recent weeks to reactivate the UO-22 After one attempt it did come back to life, but only briefly. Other attempts have failed completely.

Tone Access From CQ Magazine
An article in C-Q Magazine explains how tone access works. Dave Ingram, K4TWJ, traces the use of tone access in his "How It Works" column.

US Coast Guard Auxiliary From ARRL Letter
The US Coast Guard Auxiliary is looking for Amateur Radio operators or prospective amateur licensees. The USCG Auxiliary relies on the Auxiliary Net (AuxNet), a backup radio network, to maintain communication with both the Auxiliary and the Coast Guard. In areas where there is no regular Coast Guard presence, the Auxiliary may rely solely on its AuxNet for communication. In areas with a large USCG presence, the AuxNet operates in both a support and backup capacity. The USCG Auxiliary is seeking ham radio volunteers because amateurs are good communicators, developing skills in everyday radio operation as well as participation during emergencies.

Rotary-Gap Spark TX From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Want to find out what an old spark transmitter sounded like? Go to www.lakeerieba.com to find an MP3 file of a 78-RPM phonograph recording, made in 1938, of a rotary-gap spark transmitter and two vacuum-tube transmitters. In an unusual narration, the stories are mostly told in Morse code by the operator hand-keying the TXs.

Scratch Remover From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Need to remove scratches from plastic parts and meter faces? Several suggestions appeared in a recent issue of the ARRL Contest Rate Sheet. The suggestion is to utilize a back and forth linear polishing motion rather than a circular motion. To ensure the plastic does not heat up too much, do not use any sort of power equipment.

  • A white paste available at auto parts stores that can do the job is "Mother's" brand 'Mag and Aluminum Polish'.
  • Maguire's Plastic Polish Another auto parts store item is .
  • Plexus is an eyeglass cleaner.
  • Toothpaste is also mentioned becasue it often has a the mild abrasive.
None of these has been tried by the editor, so I can't vouch for any of them. Be sure to experiment on a piece that can be trashed if the resuots don't turn out.

On The BPL Front From Multiple Sources
It seems a lot of the BPL news has dried up since the FCC issued the last R&O.

  • The Rochester ARC does not have any new information posted on their web site.
  • The ARRL is taking part in efforts aimed at defining and establishing key BPL technical standards. The IEEE Broadband over Power Line (BPL) Study Group will address the avoidance of interference from BPL to licensed radio services. The ARRL will be involved with drafting the part of the IEEE study group's "white paper" dealing with affected radio services, including Amateur Radio. Other aspects of the document will include safety; compatibility between access BPL and in-home BPL; compatibility with utility distribution systems, and security, privacy and authentication issues.
  • The FCC has issued whats known as an Notice of Erratum, slightly modifying the Report and Order on BPL operations.