The next regular OSCAR meeting is 12-Nov: Ř9:ŘŘ AM (local time) at Hardees in Owatonna.
Tom NŘUW was appointed ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Steele County.
Look for Jeff KCŘUOW on the repeater more often. Jeff now has a mobile.
Steele County Emergency Management
Mike Johnson gave approval to install an amateur radio station at the EOC. The plan is to install a Yaesu FT-8800R. This will provide dual band capabilities along with cross-band repeater ability, if required, as a back-up to the 145.49 machine.
A surplus Kenwood FT-2570A will be installed at the Ellendale EOC. Various donations by individuals are making this a reality.
ITU Emergency Handbook
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is making portions of
Handbook on Emergency Telecommunications available for download. The Handbook is designed to serve as a close companion to those involved in providing and using telecommunications for disaster mitigation and relief.
The October OSCAR Newsletter included a quote from a senior Motorola official. Motorola (thru legal counsel) apologized to the ham radio community for the negative remark, claiming the quote was taken out of context. A new quote to chuckle over in the apology: "Motorola has sent a letter of clarification and apology to the Board of Directors for the Amateur Radio Relay League."
National SOS Radio Network
From AR Newsline
A National SOS Radio Network that would combine the millions of users of the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the expertise of ham radio operators was proposed by Eric Knight, KB1EHE.
According to Knight's plan, ham radio operators would relay the public's emergency needs to local and state authorities. The basic recommendation would be for citizens to set their FRS radios on Channel 1 and transmit their emergency needs. Hams would be trained to have a receiver on 462.5625 MHz, the frequency corresponding to FRS Channel 1.
More about the project is on line at
10-Codes Are OK After All
From CGC Communicator
The October OSCAR Newsletter reported FEMA was going to eliminate the "10-Code". Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff changed his mind and won't require the abolition of 10-codes in everyday law enforcement communications as a condition of compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and eligibility for future federal grants.
Plug-N-Play Radio Telescope
The British Astronomical Association's radio astronomy group is working on an interesting project to develop a 'plug and play' radio telescope system.The group says that beginners as well as experts will be able to use the system to easily set up their own radio observatory. Ham radio experimenters are invited to take part. For more information about this innovative project, visit www.britastro.org.
A “TLD” is the acronym used to describe a Top-Level Domain, such as “.com” (for "commercial”), “.net” (for Internet related”), “.org” (for “non-profit organization”) and “edu (for “educational.”) Being discussed within the Amateur community is the possibility of obtaining a worldwide TLD standard for radioamateurs and their Web sites. The proposed generic TLD would be “.ham”. The campaign to get “.ham” named as a worldwide TLD is being spearheaded by Canadian (Vancouver area) amateur, James Johnson, VE7HJ. He invites other amateurs wishing to get involved to contact him by email at: VE7HJ@rac.ca
Vanity Call Sign Suspension
The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has suspended the processing of Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications. The FCC halted vanity processing on or about September 23 after realizing that filing and regulatory deadline extensions for hurricane-affected licensees in certain states could adversely impact the vanity system. On September 1, the FCC extended until October 31 all filing and regulatory deadlines falling between August 29 and October 30 for licensees in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Katrina. On September 24, it extended until November 21 all filing and regulatory deadlines falling between September 20 and November 20 for licensees in Louisiana and Texas affected by Hurricane Rita. Thanks to Hurricane Wilma, the FCC likely will not be processing any vanity
call sign applications until late December.
On The BPL Front
Over in Rochester, RPU indicated that their plans to provide broadband internet service in Rochester has been delayed three to four months due to a breakdown in negotiations with Current Communications Group. RPU plans to release another request for proposals in the next couple of months. Installation of transmission equipment would then likely be installed next year. RPU estimates it will take about two years to install all of the equipment required to offer the broadband service citywide.
PPL Broadband announced it is terminating the BPL experiment in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. The company is cites the high cost of a full-scale BPL rollout and competition from cable and DSL service in the region as the reason for the shutdown.
Manassas, VA rolled out their city-wide BPL service, covering about a 10-square-mile area. Members of the Ole Virginia Hams (OVH) Amateur Radio Club who tested the service said “The system is highly unreliable. They do nothing to filter out the interference.” The club believes the problem can be fixed, however, and they plan to meet with BPL equipment manufacturers.
In the meantime, the ARRL has asked the FCC to instruct the City of Manassas, Virginia, to shut down its broadband over power line system. This, after the system manger failed to resolve interference complaints filed by several radio amateurs.
The new BPL Interference Resolution Web site
provided by the United Power Line Council (UPLC) and the United Telecom Council (UTC) now is open . UTC appears to be imposing on the number of allowable licensee searches. A note on the
Web site cautions that each licensee "is allowed to search a limited number of times each month" and advises them not to conduct random database searches lest their access to the database be further restricted.