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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 13-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - May, 26

OSCAR Meeting
The next regular OSCAR meeting is 13-May: 9: AM (local time) at Hardees in Owatonna.

VE Session
OSCAR sponsored a VE session on 27-Apr in cooperation with the Austin ARC. There were 21 candidates resulting in 9 new Technicians. There should be some new call signs in about a week for: Tim Dorway, Josh Forsman, Adam Jensen, Mohammad Kazemi, Bob Lau, Ruth Olson, Jerry Rosendahl, Brian Vaillancourt, and Steve Van Natta.

Congratulations to Kris KCREO for his upgrade to Extra. Kris asked to borrow an engineering calculator from Dale WBPKG. Kris got confused when he was presented with a slide rule.

Thanks to the Austin ARC for their support. VEs were Mike Cherney KCAKT, John Nystrom KBSPM, Mary Nystrom KBSVG, and Bill Carpenter KCOEW. Thanks to the OSCAR VEs: Paul WFEI, Willis KAKEL, and Tom NUW.

Technician Class
The conclusion of the Technician Class was the driver for the VE session. OSCAR appreciates the enthusiasm by the class participants this year. The instructors did a great job and their time is always valued: Willis KAKEL, Paul WFEI, Dale WBPKG, Kris KCREO, Tom NUW and straightman Jeff KCUOW.

As a tool of encouragement, a drawing was held for class participants that passed the Technician exam on 27-Apr. The reward was a used, but still operating ICOM IC-27H. Brian Vaillancourt was the lucky winner.

New Technician Class Question Pool
The Technician question pool changes on 30-Jun-2006. There are about 20% fewer questions in the Technician Class question pool. The areas of emphasis have changed slightly. The is a new group of questions relating specifically to Public Service and Emergency Communications. The OSCAR instructors will have some rewriting to do for the Technician Class next year.

Steele County EOC
Work continues at the Owatonna Fire Station to install VHF equipment. A room in the basement is being remodeled to include 2 operating positions for SKYWARN and 2 operating positions for Amateur Radio. We'll be installing a Yaesu FT-8800R initially with plans to add APRS and Packet capabilities.

SKYWARN meets the third Tuesday each month at 7:00 PM.
Dave KCUVY is ordering reflective Signs to identify SKYWARN spotters. A bumper sticker size (11-3/4" x 3-1/2") is available from Dave for its $3.50 cost.
Visit the Steele County SKYWARN site for updated information. You can fill out the guest profile and Dave will grant full member access.

NIMS Introduction Course
Mike Johnson, Owatonna Fire Chief presented an IS-700 class in April. IS-700 teaches volunteers the Incident Command System used by Minnesota and the Federal governments when responding to disasters. By Federal standard and Presidential Directive, all federal, state, local, tribal, private sector and non-governmental personnel with a direct role in emergency management and response must be NIMS and ICS trained. This includes volunteer personnel. The course is also available on-line at the FEMA web site. Ham radio operators are encouraged to also take IS-100 and then take IS-200.

Let Mike Johnson know if you took one of these courses so he can keep his records up to date.

Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day From AR Newsline
27-May is Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day. This day hams and their clubs will give our troops, veterans, and retired military members thanks and appreciation on the ham radio bands. More information is available at AMRAD.

50 Years of Hard Drives From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
IBM introduced the hard drive in September, 1956. The RAMC stored 5M 7-bit characters and leased for $35,000 per year. You can read all about it in EDN Magazine.

Cell Phone Repair From CGC Communicator
Defective cellphone handsets replaced under warranty will most likely ship their phones to a massive facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Follow a defective Motorola RAZR through the process at Dallas Morning ews

CW Training From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
A .pdf of the Army CW Training Manual is being made available at the web site of N6TR.

Dithering Power Supplies From CGC Communicator
Switching type power supplies can generate nasty R-F-I spurs particularly in the A-M broadcast band. To minimize the noise on speciifc frequencies, designers are turning toward dithering (intentional frequency shifting) the power supply switching frequency. The intent is thin the RFI across the spectrum rather than concentrated on one frequency.

"VU" Meter From CGC Communicator
The history of the "VU" meter can be seen in a web video at Dorrough Electronics. It explains the history of audio metering and the technical details behind the VU, PPM and Dorrough Loudness meters.

APCO Task Force From ARES E-Letter
Recognizing the support Amateur Radio can provide, Associated Public Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) is appointing a formal "Amateur Radio Task Force". The task force will develop formal projects to support the role of the Amateur Radio operator in public safety response.

On The BPL Front From Multiple Sources
The Rochester ARC newsletter reports that ew proposals for BPL are open until April 10. Another trial will be conducted in the same area if there are bids.

The ARRL has again has called for the immediate shutdown of the BPL pilot project in Briarcliff Manor, New York. The League has filed five previous interference complaints about the system with the first one submitted way back in October of 2004.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a plan on Thursday, April 27th to allow providers of high-speed Internet services to test using electricity lines to deliver online access throughout the state. At the moment only San Diego Gas and Electric is involved in any sort of BPL trial in the state.

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee's version of the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006 includes an amendment requiring the FCC to study the interference potential of BPL systems.