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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 13-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - April, 26

OSCAR Meeting
The next regular OSCAR meeting is 08-Apr: 9: AM (local time) at Hardees in Owatonna.

Local News
Willis KAKEL was featured in a 08-Mar Peoples Press article on the new Medicare Part D. He has been active in helping others understand the multitude of options available to them. Thanks, Willis, for helping the community in several ways.

Technician Class
Class started on 09-Mar with 30 people expressing interest, including a large group from Albert Lea. Attendance each night has been in the mid-20s. Notable participants include the Owatonna Fire Chief and State Fire Marshal.

Rochester Tech Class From ARRL
The Rochester ARC held a two day RARC technician ham radio class on March 4 March 11. Fifteen students enrolled in the two day class. Instructors were RARC members, Mel KCP, Bill KRGR, Pat NADQ, BJ KCNPF, Niel WVLZ and Peter N8MHD.

VE Session
In cooperation with the Austin ARC, OSCAR will host an exam session on 29-Apr. The session will begin at 7:00PM at the Owatonna Fire Station. All exam elements will be available. There are a lot of other VE Sessions scheduled for April in the area. Check the OSCAR Calendar page for the current listings.

CERT Training
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) scheduled the next training session for new volunteers. Training will take place on two consecutive Saturdays, 22-Apr and 29-Apr. Contact Shirley Woodfill through the Owatonna Fire Department 507-444-2454 if you are interested.

Steele County SKYWARN now has a web page. Thanks go to Dave KC0YVT for sponsoring the site and providing an important resource. The content is being built up and Dave would appreciate any ideas and help.

Field Day
ARRL Field Day 2006 will be Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. Kris KCREO agreed to chair the event for OSCAR. Tentative plans are to return to the Crane Creek site with the use of the Steele County EMCOMM trailer.

SKYWARN Workshop
The 2006 Minnesota Skywarn Workshop will be held on Saturday, 29-Apr. The full-day (8:00AM - 5:00PM) will take place at Concordia University. The workshop is geared for storm spotters to train you in spotting techniques, equip you with information about the latest in weather technology, and connect you with other Skywarn communities from across the state. The event is free but advanced registration is required. More info is available at Skywarn Workshop.

Steele County Safety Fair
The Steele County Safety and Health Fair will be at the Armory on 19-Apr and 20-Apr.

Steele County EOC
Amateur equipment is on order for the EOC located at the Owatonna Fire Station.

Marconi Day From AR Newsline
April 22 marks the 19th International Marconi Day, organised by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club over in the U-K. not a contest, awards will be made available to stations that operate from a site that either used Marconi equipment prior to his death in 1937 or where Gugliemo Marconi carried out experiments during his lifetime.

ARRL Emergency Planning From ARRL
The new ARRL National Emergency Response Planning Committee is being served by a group of 13 individuals to serve. This group is tasked with developing a comprehensive recommendation for ARRL responses to regional, national and international disasters. The ARRL Board will consider the committee's recommendations at its 2007 annual meeting next January.

Cellphone Blocking Paint From AR Newsline
A Rochester, New York, company called Natural Nano announces that it has developed paint that can switch between blocking cell phone signals and allowing them through. Using nano-technology, particles of copper are inserted into nanotubes. The painted surface is then connected to radio filtering gear that permits certain frequencies to pass while blocking others. Of course, wireless phone industry opposes this or any other form of preventing cell phone operation.

Cell Phones and Airplanes From AR Newsline
Researchers monitoring flights in the United States north-east corridor found that several cellular phone calls are typically made on commercial flights during takeoff or final approach to landing, when all electronic devices are supposed tobe off. The researcher claims that the disruptions discovered by the study are enough to impact a plane's navigation or other critical systems.

Sirius Radio Interference From CGC Communicator
A push is being made to have Sirius radio shift the default operating frequency for the satellite modulators to 87.9MHz from the current 88.1 MHz. This is partially in response to complaints about Howard Stern broadcasts appearing on car radios where he is not wanted. Unfortunaately, 87.9 is the aural frequency for TV Channel 6.

Sunspot Cycle Prediction From CNN
A new computer model suggests the next solar cycle will be 30 percent to 50 percent more intense than the last one. The cycle will also begin a year later than expected, in late 2007 or early 2008, and peak around 2012. This forcast differs from previous predictions that the intensity of the next solar cycle would be measurably smaller. And, of course, another prediction suggests the next cycle will occur late this year. Want to make your own prediction??

Radio Wave Propagation From ARRL Rate Sheet
M.H. De Canck ON5AU released Radio Wave Propagation - Volume 2. The presentation includes the ability to plot your destination and "see" your signal travel in animation. For more information, browse over to Antennex.

Ultracapacitors Replace Batteries From PC World
Researchers at the MIT found a way to extend the power life of mobile computers by drawing power from an ultracapacitor. It works by applying nanotechnology to the capacitor. The unltracapacitor takes advantage of the enormous surface area of nanotubes; molecular-scale straws of carbon atoms that enable ultracapacitors to store electrical fields at the atomic level. Storage capacity and charging speed is proportional to the surface area of the electrodes, so the nanotubes provide a great leap forward. The approach is still several years away from being used, but is already used for backup power in many small consumer products.

Sony CRT Manufacturing SK From AR Newsline
Sony Electronics will close its television picture tube factory in San Diego, California The action is based on the replacement of cathode-ray tubes with flat panel monitors.

CD Archives From CGC Communicator
In the February Newsletter, we included a note about the life of CDs. A Kodak marketing agent suggests that CDs made with a gold layer rather then the conventional silver produce CD lifetimes up to 300 years. Kodak's new "Preservation CD-R" and "Preservation DVD (-R)" discs include a gold reflective layer and special substrate formulations.

New Mexico Network From AR Newsline
The New Mexico governor signed a bill creating a state-wide emergency communications network and earmarks $500,000 to fund Amateur Radio's participation in the project. Preliminary plans call for state purchased equipment to be installed in strategic locations as an interlinked VHF and UHF voice and data repeater network. This means communications will be available anywhere in the state when hams are working along side first responders during disaster situations.

ARRL Ham Aid Kits From ARRL
The ARRL now has "ham gear ready to go". "Go Kits" are being assembled at ARRL HQ and will be loaned out on a moment's notice. The "HF Kit" contains a 100-W HF transceiver, a microphone and a power supply. The "VHF/UHF Kit" includes a dualband mobile transceiver, power supply, headset, 10 handheld transceivers and a supply of alkaline batteries. In the "Handheld Transceiver Kit" are eight dualband handheld transceivers and antennas plus a stock of extra batteries. The "Support Kit" includes a length of BuryFlex 213 coaxial cable, rope, 15-foot jumper cables with battery clamps at one end and an Anderson Powerpole on the other.

Plastic Bags From ARES e-Letter
What to do with all of those plastic shopping or nespaper bags? Hopefully, most of them are being recylced, but save a couple for you emergency kit. They can be used as HT covers for bad weather operating.

ARRL "Hello" Program From ARRL
The first components of the ARRL's "Hello" Amateur Radio public relations campaign now are available. The "Hello" campaign is aimed at recasting Amateur Radio in the light of the 21st century and focusing on its universal appeal. "Hello" Web site is designed for non-hams to learn a little bit about Amateur Radio and to arouse more interest.

Falling Tower From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
If you want to see a 625-foot tall broadcast tower falling, go to Radio Towers

FCC Public Safety Bureau From AR Newsline
The FCC will establish a new Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. It appears that the Amateur Radio Service will remain within the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for the forseeable future. The new Bureau will have three divisions. They are Policy, Public Communications Outreach & Operations, and Communications Systems Analysis.

Mississippi PRB-1 From AR Newsline
Mississippi has became the 22nd state to revise its statutes to incorporate the language of PRB-1. The new law calls on localities establishing ordinances regulating antenna placement, screening or height to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio communication.

Vanity Renewal Fee From ARRL
The FCC wants to reduce the Fiscal Year 2006 regulatory fee to obtain an Amateur Radio vanity call from $21.90 to $20.10. If ordered as proposed, the new vanity fee would become effective in August or September.

On The BPL Front From Multiple Sources
The FCC directed the City of Manassas, Virginia, and its BPL system operator to conduct measurements to ensure its system complies with FCC Part 15 rules. The Commission also instructed the city to "resolve any continuing harmful interference." This is in apparent response to an amateur radio complaint, alleging harmful BPL interference along Virginia Business Route 234. USA Today included an article on the Manassas system and amateur radio interference in the 19-Mar issue.

The Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has ended a limited broadband over power line (BPL) pilot project. Reasons provided included readiness of the technology, competitiveness, and construction practices.

A BPL field trial in Cottonwood, AZ is apparently shut down for good. MTI indicated it was discontinuing the experiment in Cottonwood and moving it, possibly to the Phoenix area, where MTI is headquartered.