Home Page
Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 13-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - June, 26

OSCAR Meeting
The next regular OSCAR meeting is 10-June: 9: AM (local time) at Hardees in Owatonna.

Local News
Congratulations to Tim KCQWB on his new position in the Rochester school district.

Field Day
ARRL Field Day 2006 is Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. Kris KCREO is leading the event for OSCAR. Tentative plans are to return to the Crane Creek site. Final details will be discussed at the June OSCAR meeting.

Steele County EOC
Dale WBPKG and Tom NUW completed the installation of the Cushcraft AR-270B and Yaesu FT-8800R at the Owatonna EOC. The equipment will be used for SKYWARN coordination as well as supporting emergency communications for Public Service agencies and other volunteer organizations. Pictures of the work in progress can be viewed in the OSCAR Archives section.

One of the activities SKYWARN is involved in is routine readings of the six flood gauges throughout Steele County. Readings are referenced to sea level and are generally taken each week. The image below represents how the flood gauges fluctuate over time with rain.

VE Session Update
There are 10 new license grants resulting from the OSCAR Technician class for 2006:

KCWPU - Ruth Olson
KCWPV - Adam Jensen
KCWPW - Brain Vaillancourt
KCWPX - Josh Forsman
KCWPY - Jerry Rosendahl
KCWPZ - Mahammad Kazemi
KCWQA - Bob Lau
KCWQB - Tim Dorway
KCWQC - Steve Van Natta
KCWQQ - Mike Johnson

Congratulations to all.

Cell Tower Rain Gauges From eWeek.com
A professor at the Tel Aviv University's School of Engineering is publishing a new report contending that researchers can more accurately measure rainfall totals based on the signal strength of cell tower transmissions than they can chart drizzle via the use of more expensive satellite and radar-oriented systems. They indicate they can gauge rain totals simply by monitoring the performance of electromagnetic signals passed between wireless base stations. Signal strength could also be used to chart fog, snow, sleet, hail and water vapor.

Jamming Devices From AR Newsline
Cell Antenna Corporation, of Florida filed suit against the FCC claiming rules that prohibit the sale of radio frequency jamming devices to state and local governments. This challenges a law to prohibit the use of cellular and radio frequency jamming equipment by state and local governments.

ATV Certificates From AR Newsline
Amateur Television Quarterly Magazine is offering a certificates that you can hang on the wall to proclaim your interest in ATV. You can also download A-T-V identification screens and add your callsign.

Sirius Complaints Continue From CGC Communicator
We mentioned issued with Sirius radios back in April. Communications General Corporation filed a formal complaint with the FCC against Sirius Satellite for incorporating 87.7 and 87.9 MHz into the intentional radiator mini-transmitters built into many of Sirius' satellite receivers.

High School RADIO From Multiple Sources
Students attending a high school in Ventura County, CA signed up for a yearlong class called Radio Amateurs and Disaster Operations (RADIO). Open to students in grades 9 through 12, the curriculum includes an Amateur Radio license and Red Cross First Aid Certification. MINS, ICS, and search-and-rescue skills are also part of the class.

Cell Tower Fire From CGC Communicator
This video shows a cell tower leaning as the result of heat from a fire inside the tower. The tower then rights itself as the fire hose cools the structure.

National SOS From CGC Communicator
The use of FRS CHannel 1 as an emergency channel is gaining momentum. During a crisis, ham radio, GMRS, and scanner operators can monitor FRS Channel 1 by tuning to 462.5625 MHz. The general public could use this frequency to originate local information that would be passed onto hams who have long range communications capability. More info is available at National SOS.

Irrigation Pipe Mast From WB4APR
Bob Bruinga published his plans for a 55-foot mast using irrigation pipe. The 35-pound mast is made from 3 pieces of abandoned thin-wall irrigation piping that can be obtained for a song from "any nursery or farmer".

800MHz Radio Is Not Enough From AR Newsline
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff indicated that the value of the technology provided through federal grants is being diminished by disagreements over control of the new communications equipment at the state and local levels. In the meantime, emergency response agencies continue to rely on ham radio operators in RACES, ARES and other organizations with their low cost and low priced gear to provide the inter-operability and cross service communications that their high priced radio systems cannot.

Tower Grounding From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Gain information on grounding tower installations at this Communication Tower and Power Substation tutorial.

Part 97 Changes From ARRL
These changes in Part 97 Rules are now in effect:

  • 97.111(a)(1) to permit ''transmissions necessary to exchange messages with other stations in the Amateur Service, except those in any country whose administration has notified the ITU that it objects to such communications. The FCC will issue public notices of current arrangements for international communications.'' The old language permitted communication among amateur stations in different countries ''except those in any country whose administration has given notice that it objects to such communications.''

  • 97.115(a)(2) to facilitate the transmission of international communications on behalf of third parties in emergency or disaster-relief situations, whether or not a third-party agreement is in place between the US and the countries involved. The revision now permits communication with any non-US station ''when transmitting emergency or disaster relief communications'' as well as with any non-US station ''whose administration has made arrangements with the United States to allow amateur stations to be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties.'' The revised rule further provides that no station may transmit third-party traffic other than emergency or disaster relief communications to a station in a country lacking a third-party arrangement. Still excepted from the prohibition is any third party eligible to be the control operator of an amateur station.
  • 97.113(a)(4) to prohibit amateur stations exchanging messages with amateur stations in other countries from making transmissions that are encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except for control signals exchanged between Earth command stations and space stations in the Amateur-Satellite service, something Part 97 already provides for. The old rule referred to the use of ''codes and ciphers.'' The same rule also already prohibits transmitting music, communications intended to facilitate a criminal act, obscene or indecent words or language and false or deceptive messages, signals or identification.
  • 97.117 to state that amateur stations may transmit communicationsincidental to the purposes of the Amateur Service and to remarks ofa personal character.
  • 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 international Radio Regulations.

    Camera Tripod Mast From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
    A camera tripod can be used to support a vertical for portable operations. Plans for a feedpoint insualtor are described at NJ QRP

    New Technician Class MAterials From
    The Technician Class question pool changes at the end of June. A new study guide is available from the ARRL. The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual and updated Tech Q&A replace the popular and familiar Now You're Talking!

    On The BPL Front From Multiple Sources
    United Telecom Council (UTC) has removed all restrictions on access to the BPL Interference Resolution Web site.

    Another Manassas, Virginia, radio amateur has joined the growing list of those filing formal complaints about disruptive interference from the city's broadband over power line (BPL) system.