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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 13-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - February, 26

OSCAR Meeting
The next regular OSCAR meeting is 11-Feb: 9: AM (local time) at Hardees in Owatonna.

Network Control Class
The Austin ARC sponsored a class that included a simulated disaster net. Over 20 hams attended from 11 different communities. The simulation had two simultaneous nets running with messages being passed across the nets in the Austin High School. It was a good experience to participate in a hands-on exercise.

Technician Class
OSCAR is sponsoring an instructional class for the Technician Class operator license. Classes begin 09-Mar on Thursday nights. Updated information will be posted on the OSCAR Class page. Don't forget to look at the opportunity to study for the General class now running in Waseca.

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.

National Incident Management System (NIMS)
NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents. An on-line course, IS-700, introduces NIMS and takes approximately three hours to complete. It explains the purpose, principles, key components and benefits of NIMS. The course also contains "Planning Activity" screens giving you an opportunity to complete some planning tasks during this course. The planning activity screens are printable so that you can use them after you complete the course.

FCC Changes For WRC-03 From ARRL Letter
The FCC has ordered several rule revisions to implement changes agreed to at the international level during World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03). The changes affect 97.111, Authorized transmissions; 97.113, Prohibited transmissions; 97.115, Third party communications, and 97.117, International communications. The FCC also revised 97.3 and 97.309 to update the definition of International Morse code and of various digital codes in the amateur rules to reflect changes in the Radio Regulations. The rule changes will become effective upon publication in The Federal Register.

New ARRL President From ARRL Letter
ARRL First Vice President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, of Judsonia, Arkansas, will be the League's president for the next two years. He'll succeed Jim Haynie, W5JBP, who chose not to run for a fourth term..

SuitSat From Newsline
SuitSat is an Amateur Radio station that has been installed inside a surplus Russian space suit. It will become an independently orbiting ham radio satellite once it is deployed by the crew of the International Space Station. Planned to be released on February 2nd, it will use the call sign RORS. Transmissions on 145.990 MHz will broadcast telemetry and re-recorded voice messages to earth for as long as the batteries last (several days). More information on SuitSat and its operation is on line at AMSAT.

Powder Coating From Contest Rate Sheet
Do-it-yourself powder coating is becoming more popular due to the durable surface, attractive finish, ease of application. Sears, Eastwood Co. and Harbor Freight have coating "gun" systems that requires a small compressed air source and an oven to bake and cure the finish.

AO-51 Digipeater From Newsline
The Digipeater function on the AO-51 satellite has been turned on for a trial test session. The uplink is on 145.860 Mhz using FM at 9600 baud. Downlink is 435.300 FM at 9600 baud using the call designator PACB 1.

Trivia From QRZ
What two Boy Scout Merit Badges have Morse code characters on them?

  1. Radio and Electronics
  2. Radio and Emergency Preparedness
  3. Radio and Communications
  4. Communications and Electronics
Answer below.

Bandwidth Regulation From ARRL Letter
Comments are due by Monday, February 6, on the ARRL's Petition for Rule Making, designated as RM-11306. The ARRL is asking the FCC to replace the table at 97.305(c) with a new one that segments bands by necessary bandwidths ranging from 200 Hz to 100 kHz. A copy of the ARRL petition is on the ARRL Web site. Comment via the FCC's (ECFS) Electronic Comment Filing System.

Pocket Weather Meters From SKYWARN
The makers of Kestrel pocket weather meters, is offering a discount to SKYWARN Spotters. The 15% discount applies to 3 models ranging from $199 to $329, and includes free shipping. More detailed information is available at SKYWARN.

Wilderness Protocol From ARRL Letter
The idea: a set of VHF and UHF frequencies and a basic schedule for monitoring the frequencies for contact from Amateur Radio operators in wilderness areas. The proposed schedule for monitoring the National Simplex Calling frequencies (52.525 MHz, 146.520 MHz, 223.500 MHz, 446.000 MHz and, 1294.500 MHz) is every three hours on the hour starting at 7 AM local time until 7 PM local time. The base monitoring time is 5 minutes.

Broadcast Radio From Various Sources
If your are going on a road trip, there are a couple of places to get a listing of broadcast stations along your route.
V-Soft Communications has added hotlinks on the web. Enter a zip code and you get a hot-linked table of all the radio stations having a signal strength above 50 dBu in that zip code. Click on the hotlinks in the list to bring up the FCC's AM or FM Query programs to find out details on any of the stations listed.
Radio-Locator searches by City/State or Zip code. The result is a table of stations with estimated signal strengths and format.

More on Oscilloscopes From ARRL
December's Newsletter included a reference to an article from Nuts & Volts magazine on oscilloscopes. More information on using an oscilloscope is available at Doctronics.

Digital Television From Multiple Sources
The House of Representatives established a plan to require television broadcasters to switch to all-digital transmissions by 17-Feb, 2009. House lawmakers have also voted to set aside $1.5 billion to help millions of Americans with older, non-digital sets to pay for converter boxes so they'll continue to get service in the digital era. Each household could get two $40 vouchers. Auctioning the 60 MHz of spectrum that becomes available is expected to raise up to $30 billion.

Vanity Applications From ARRL Letter
Once the FCC resumed processing Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) blazed through the backlog. A total of 990 vanity applications piled up in the queue after the FCC suspended vanity processing September 23. The backlog was eliminated by 10-Jan. Also, the very first vanity calls are now coming up for renewal. The vanity fee must be repaid with each renewal to keep your vanity call.

Over The Air TV From CGC Communicator
An Associated Press poll indicates 22% of households do not subscribe to either cable or satellite TV. Add in that many households may supplement cable services with other OTA television sets. This may increase the demand for converter boxes

Miles per Watt Calculator From Contest Rate Sheet
Pete N9SSA has updated his Miles Per Watt Calculator, MPWcalc. The program also links to Google Maps to show each end of the path. Take a browse to http://www.hoffswell.com/n9ssa/mpwcalc.html and check it out. There's also a link to a grey line map.

UWB In The UK From Newsline
Conventional RF signals are modulated on a carrier frequency. Ultra Wideband (UWB) generates short pulses made up of lots of frequencies. Hams in the UK believe there is interference potential that could threaten the amateur microwave bands, especially if it were used outdoors as an alternative to wireless network technologies like Wi-Fi.

Radio Construction From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Solder Smoke is a video show for home brewers by Bill N2CQR. The latest installment includes "Solar-Powered Station on 80-Meters," "Understanding Solid-State Design," and more.

CD Life From CGC Communicator
IDG News Service reports CD-Rs and CD-RWs may not have the life they are thought to have. An IBM physicist in Germany suggests a life span of two to five years.

Tri-State ARC Grant From Newsline
The Tri-State Amateur Radio Club of Cresco, Iowa, has received word from the office of Homeland Security that it has been awarded a grant of $150,000. It literally took four years to pursue the grant to purchase a state of the art mobile communicatins and light tower. On a local note, The news release indicated the tower would be manufactured in Owatonna. However, Tower Solutions's web site indicates it is in Pine City.

Satellite Radio Interference From CGC Communicator
Reports are being made about XM & Sirius satellite radios interfering with FM broadcast radio reception. Some of the "receivers" have mini FM transmitters to send the satellite audio to an FM broadcast receiver nearby. FM signals generated in one car are apparently being captured the FM receiver in another car, disrupting licensed FM broadcast signals.

Trivia Answer
The Radio Badge has the characters: BSA
The Emergency Preparedness Badge: HELP

On The BPL Front From Multiple Sources
The power industry has a website to determine if there is a BPL (Broadband Over Powerline) system operating in a given zip code.

TXU Electric Delivery and BPL manufacturer Current Communications Group have partnered to establish "the nation's first broadband-enabled Smart Grid" that will cover most of TXU's service area. That includes some two million homes and businesses in the Dallas-Forth Worth area as well as other Texas communities.

Idaho Telecommunications Company is backing out of BPL. It worked on pilot systems in Boise, ID and Houston, Texas areas.

The ARRL filed a renewal of the complaint against the Ambient Corporation's Broadband over Power Line system in Briarcliff Manor, New York. The BPL system is operated by Ambient, on power lines owned and operated by Consolidated Edison. The ARRL points out that the FCC, without adjudicating ARRL's repeated complaints about interference throughout the amateur 20 meter band, renewed Ambient's experimental license for an additional term, from August 1, 2005 to August 1, 2007.

Austria's telecommunications regulators say that Broadband Over Powerline is a hazard to Amateur Radio. Measurements carried out in May 2004, April 2005 and November 2005 clearly showed that the cause of the disturbance reported by users of the HF band in the concerned region is the operation of PLC.