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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 13-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - January, 26

OSCAR Meeting
The next regular OSCAR meeting is 14-Jan: 9: AM (local time) at Hardees in Owatonna.

Local News
Dan Nordman is sporting a new call. Listen for ACDA (ex-KBUCP). We're not sure if this is an indication of Dan's musical talent.

Matt KAPQW has a 220 repeater up and running at his home in Ellendale, MN. The frequency is 224.64 MHZ with standard offset. It is running 10 watts into a Hustler G7 antenna. At times the repeater may be on tone (110.9) but most of the time it will be open.

Terry WVB (Rochester ARC) had his 100-foot tower collapse in early December. The story is posted at RARC.

New OSCAR Officers
The December OSCAR meeting produced another hotly contested election process. After several ballot recounts (supervised by Dade County, FL), new officers were declared:

President - Dale WBPKG
Secretary - Tom NUW
Treasurer - Charlie KHNY

OSCAR Membership Dues
With the start of the new year, Charlie KHNY is ready to accept OSCAR dues for 2006. Dues are minimal at $10, most of which supports Field Day.

General Class
The Viking ARC (Waseca) is sponsoring an instructional class for the General Class operator license. Classes begin 10-Jan on Tuesday nights. See the additional information posted on the OSCAR Class page.

Network Control Class
The Austin ARC and Mower County Red Cross are providing an AERO Emergency Net Class on Saturday, January 28, 2006. Follow the link on the OSCAR home page for detailed information.

Technician Class
OSCAR will sponsor an instructional class for the Technician Class operator license. Classes are tentatively scheduled to begin 09-Mar on Thursday nights. There is an interest from Steele County Emergency Management to utilize Amateur Radio to a greater degree. This is a good opportunity for individuals involved in CERT and SKYWARN to enhance their skill set. Updated information will be posted on the OSCAR Class page.

Steele County and Waseca County are planning SKYWARN classes in March. Details are included on the OSCAR home page. Information will be updated as it becomes available. Dates for other classes in the region will be posted on the OSCAR Calendar page as they become known.

You may have seen bits and pieces in the OSCAR Newsletters about the interaction with Steele County Emergency Management. The next step is developing an ARES organization operating separate from OSCAR. OSCAR is providing initial support by allowing ARES information to be posted on the OSCAR web site. OSCAR is also loaning the OSCAR e-mail address for commnications. OSCAR members signed on for ARES membership at their November meeting.

The current thought process is to identify ARES volunteers in two levels of membership:

  • Rapid Emergency Deployment (RED) - volunteers indicate a willingness to be involved in development activities.
  • Reserve - volunteers indicate an interest in being available in a disaster scenario, but do not have a desire to actively participate.
Please contact Tom NUW at the OSCAR e-mail address if you want to become involved.

Tom NUW thanks the OSCAR members for their support.

Repeater Interference
OSCAR is aware of the severe crackles on the KAKEL/R (145.490) machine. This is being worked on along with interference associated with the Owatonna Bus Company. We are resisting the urge to simply mask the problem by turning the PL on. Thanks for your patience.

Kids Day From Various Sources
The first of two Kids Day operating events of 2006 is slated for Sunday, January 8th, from 1800 to 2400 U-T-C. Kids day is not a contest and the rules are simple. A suggested contact exchange is each child's name, age, location and favorite color, but there is no hard or fast rule. Suggested frequencies are on 14.275 to 14.300 MHz on 20 meters, 21.380 to 21.400 on 15 and 28.350 to 28.400 on 10 meters if 10 is open.

Vanity Call Processing From ARRL Letter
The FCC has announced that routine processing of Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications will resume Wednesday, January 4, 2006. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) suspended vanity processing in September as an indirect result of its hurricane-related extensions of certain regulatory and filing deadlines. In September, the FCC said it had to suspend routine vanity call sign processing because the extensions included the two-year grace period and could conceivably affect the vanity program.

Amateur Radio Scholarships From ARRL
An article was included last month on scholarships from FAR. Information ARRL Foundation-administered scholarships is at the ARRL Foundation Web site. The application period for ARRL Foundation scholarships closes February 1, 2006.

Amateur Radio - 2005 In Review From W5YI
The Amateur Radio News section of W5YI has a review of major Amateur Radio events for 2005. Included is this summary of licenses for 2005 compared to 2004:

Class Novice Technician General Advanced Extra
2005 26,728 318,570 134,928 74,195 107,357
2004 29,765 319,742 138,292 77,948 106,090
Change -3,037 -1,172 -3,364 -3,753 +1,267
% -10.2% -0.4% -2.4% -4.8% +1.2%

Looking back 5 years and 10 years, however, it appears the number of amateurs has pretty much remained stable around 675,000. The biggest change over the last decade is that the number of Extra and General Class amateurs has increased dramatically while Advanced and Novice operators have decreased.

Ham LP Broadcast Radio From World Radio
The Hancock ARC in Mississippi has a licensed low power radio station. After hurricane Katrina, it became the only broadcast staion still operating and focused on relating emergency communications. Read more at World Radio

Amateur Radio Snub From AR Newsline
Amateur Radio received an apparent snub from Massachusetts Governor Romney. During a TV interview, discussion emerged about emergency communications and interoperability issues. The gov was asked if it all came down to depending on ham radio to which the governor replied - quote: "No, we don't need to deal with ham radio operators..." Amateur Radio received immediate support from the National Weather Service and the Salvation Army. The television program can be viewed at The Boston Channel.

ARICC / Missing Lynk Alliance From Multiple Sources
Amateur Radio International Communications Coalition (ARICC) and The Missing Lynk Global Repeater System formed a strategic communications alliance. ARICC provides Health and Welfare communications in time of Disaster on EchoLink and various RF systems and is a recognized international communications group. The Missing Lynk System is made up of multiple ham stations including repeaters that are all inter-connected to make a single global repeater. It does not matter if you are in Sumatra or downtown Cleveland. If there is a repeater or bulletin station with a high speed Internet connection, the Missing Lynk can bring the world of Amateur Radio to your back yard. The alliance provides an enhancement to the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications arena. Ifyou need more information on either of these groups you can check out their websites.

Earthquake Prediction From AR Newsline
Scientists are examining the possibility of using radio waves to predict the location, time and magnitude of earthquakes. Now some geophysicists believe that it might be possible to predict earthquakes by measuring either electromagnetic pulses in the earth's crust or disturbances in the ionosphere. Such pulses and disturbances have been detected prior to a number of major earthquakes. These radio pulses are generated as much as two weeks before some earthquakes take place.

The Mosquito From CGC Communicator
A British inventor's sound-emitting device has resulted in an abundance of interest. "The Mosquito" discourages unwanted teenagers from gathering by producing an irritable 75 decibel sound which is inaudible to most adults.

SETI@Home Ends From PC World
The Search for Extra Terrestrial Life at Home (SETI@Home) project officially ended December 15. The project harness idle CPU cycles from millions of Internet-connected PCs across the globe in order to analyze data collected from massive radio telescopes. Running in place of a screensaver, the SETI@Home software, when downloaded on a PC, collected raw data from a centralized SETI@Home server bank and searched for patterns that might signal intelligent life--possible E.T., TV shows, radio communications, or other signals.

Ham Band Intruders From W5YI
The IARU Monitoring System has identified a major intruder on 7086.5 kHz. The station, part of Global Link network, illegally uses the frequency to provide fast HF wireless e-mail and fax services to maritime shipping on the high seas. The advertised frequency is 7085 KHz, but the exact frequency is 7086.5 kHz. The station operates from the Peoples Republic of China which is a member of the ITU. As such, it is expected that action will be taken to get the station removed from the Amateur Service allocation. Global Link, operated by Kielradio in northern Germany on the Baltic sea, uses Pactor III (2400 Hz bandwidth) radioteletype. We also understand that another station is operating from China at 18.160 kHz in the 17 meter ham band using Pactor II.

Canadians Lose 220-222 MHZ From AR Newsline
The Canadian Amateur Service will lose access to 220 to 222 MHz on January 25th of 2006. This, over the objections of that nations national ham radio society and numerous Canadian radio amateurs. The Department of Industry received strong support for this change following extensive industry debate. United States hams lost use of the 220 to 222 MHz portion of the 1 point 3 meter band almost two decades ago.

No IE for Apple From AR Newsline
Microsoft has advised Mac users of its Internet Explorer to switch to rival browsers such as Apple's Safari. This, as the software giant announces on Monday, December 19th that it will end Internet Explorer support for Apple Macs at the end of the month. Microsoft said it had initially stopped work on the browser last June. It says that no further security updates will be provided as of the New Year. The browser itself will be removed from Microsoft's website and no longer be available for download.

Scanner Frequencies From Contest Rate Sheet
Scanner enthusiasts will be excited to learn of some upgrades at the frequency-listing RadioReference site, including a lot of changes to the RadioReference Wiki.

On The BPL Front From Multiple Sources
Current Communications Group will provide broadband power line technology to TXU Electric Delivery. Under a ten-year deal worth around $150 million, Current will design, build, and operate a power line network servicing to more than 2 million Texas customers.

The ARRL has once again asked the Commission to shut down the Manassas, Virginia, BPL system because it's still causing harmful interference to Amateur Radio and otherwise does not comply with FCC Part 15 rules. A November 30 letter from Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Joseph Casey suggested further cooperation between the complaining radio amateurs and the city-owned BPL system. The ARRL suggests more meetings and discussions about ongoing interference are no longer productive.