OSCAR In The News
Amateur Radio in the county has gotten a lot of good press recently. Dale WBØPKG was featured in the Portraits In Steele County last March. Dale and Tom NØUW were guests on Owatonna Today shortly after. Tom was a guest columnist in the Owatonna Peoples Press in June with a follow-up on KRFO shortly after. Dave KCØUVY and Tim KCØWQB were included in another 22-Jun Peoples Press article on SKYWARN.
Some unexpected problems cropped up dealing with updating the new URL. For the moment, we'll continue to use the angelfire web site.
Dave KCØUVY is investigating having another SKYWARN class. Contact Dave (444-2454) if you or someone you know has an interest.
The 2007 VE session was a success! The VEs provided tests to 6 Technician Class candidates and one General Class candidate. The end result was 5 new hams and one upgrade. Congratulations to Aaron KDØAUI, Dale KDØAVD, Mark KDØAVB, Tom KDØAVC, and Duane KDØAVF. Thanks to the participating VEs: Paul WØFEI, Ron WBØKRI, Deuel NSØL, and Tom NØUW.
New General Class Question Pool
The new General class question pool takes effect for all Element 3 General class license written exams on July 1, 2007.
Field Day was a success at Crane Creek School Park 23/24-Jun. Kris KC0REO organized the effort and included the use of the Steele County EOC trailer. Particpants included Mark WAØF, Dale WBØPKG, Kris KCØREO, Jeff KCØUOW, Tom NØUW, and Adam KCØWPV. Three HF stations and one 6-meter station operated over the 24 hour period. The only except was a three hour window when the bands (and operators) went to sleep.
Kris and Jeff demonstrated culinary skills with sloppy joes, brats and bean casserole. Jeff clearly demonstrated his fabrication skills with a 40-meter vertical. It was a great addition to the Field Day arsenal and performed flawlessly. We also received a visit from the MN Section ARES coordinator N1UW.
Excitement is always the key at an OSCAR Field Day and this year we were not disappointed. There was a two car accident at the corner of the Field Day site and everyone was pressed into action to assist with contacting Steele County Dispatch, tending to the vehicle passengers, and directing traffic. Dale earns special recognition for crawling through the back seat of one vehicle to unlock the doors on the other side to extract the driver. On his way through the back seat of the car, Dale found a dog. Later, Dale used the dog as an aid to settle his own nerves.
From ARRL Letter
The league continues to work with over 100 repeater owners to resolve issues with the Air Force PAVE PAWS system. Affected repeaters are limited to 5 watts until a final solution is found and agreed to.
Cell Phone Sensors
From AR Newsline
The Department of Homeland Security is asking the wireless industry about the potential to scan and detect harmful compounds in the environment. Readings would automatically be transferred to a central monitoring point.
EAN Alert Error
From USA Today
A contractor unintentionally activated the EAS system for Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan on 26-Jun. An actual presidential code, minus any audio explanation, was sent four times, resulting in radio listeners listening to only dead air and TV viewers with a scrolling message. The contractor was testing a satellite based system in Illinois and picked up test signals that were being sent between Cleveland and Richmond, Va.
Hamtronics R901 Spurious Emission
A California resident was issued a citation by the FCC for spurious emissions from an 900 MHz FM receiver. The allegation is the receiver emitted a signal on 406.086 MHZ. The 406.000-406.100 MHz band, which is reserved for use by low power satellite emergency position-indicating radiabeacons.
From Several Sources
A video baby monitor in suburban Chicago was picking up black-and-white video from inside the space shuttle Atlantis. It appears the signal was being picked up from a retransmission of NASA video by the nearby Motorola ARC. K9MOT rebroadcasts NASA video as a public service on 446.575 MHz and 910.250 MHz.
Cable TV Boxes
From USA Today
A FCC order takes effect 01-Jul requiring cable operators to give up the conventional cable boxes. The proprietary boxes decode and unscramble digital, premium and HDTV channels, but also contain technology for functions such as video-on-demand and perhaps a digital video recorder. Operators will provide a standard external decoder on new installations, called a CableCard. The CableCard allows users to get channels via a TV, DVR, computer or other device built for CableCards provided by the cable operator or others. Electronics companies selling TVs and devices that use either CableCards and OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) two-way capability need to have them certified by the cable industry's technology shop, CableLabs.
NJ Amateur Radio Exemption
From AR Newsline
A New Jersey law restricts cell phone use and text messaging while driving. Originally, the bills would have prohibited the use of any and all electronic communications devices for talking, listening or text messaging while driving. The revised law, as passed, includes a sentence that makes Amateur Radio the only service exempt from the all inclusive ban.
From AR Newsline
Icom is conducting an on-line survey to find out how, where and when hams operate their stations. The survey asks about the radio you most often use. You can fill out multiple surveys for different radios. Participants are entered into a drawing to win one of two IC-R5 portable receivers.
From AR Newsline
Rumors circulate that Kenwood will leave the Amateur Radio market. In an open letter, Kenwood's National Sales Manager for Amateur Products explains the reason for the slow release of new products. He indicates the European adoption of a Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods. The development of products to meet the new standard has taken a bit of time.
Pavek Museum Award
From Pvek Museum
The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting was presented with the Richard M. Uray Alpha Epsilon Rho Award for Excellence. It is an annual award given by the National Broadcasting Society (NBS), the national organization for students and professionals pursuing careers within electronic media, and Alpha Epsilon Rho (AERho). AERho is the national honor society of electronic media students. The award is presented to individuals, companies, or organizations that best represent excellence in the field of electronic media.
Tallest Broadcasting Tower
From Wired News
The 50 year old Tokyo Tower will be eclipsed by a new tower to be completed in 2011. The new 2,001 foot tall tower will be the tallest free-standing antenna in the world. It will host all of the city's digital radio and television signals, plus a mobile TV network.
On the BPL Front
From Various Sources
ITU-R Working Party 1A is responsible for spectrum engineering techniques. It has been working on a "preliminary draft
new report" on the impact of BPL on radiocommunication systems operating below 80 MHz. The IARU's interest is ensuring an accurate picture on the sensitivity of the amateur services to interference from this source.
Sen Mark Pryor of Arkansas filed a bill in the US Senate calling on the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a study on the interference caused by BPL. There are to be four required areas of inquiry:
- Variation of field strength of BPL service signals with distance from overhead power lines.
- The depth of adaptive, or 'notch,' filtering for attenuating normally permitted BPL service radiated emission levels.
- A technical justification for the permitted, radiated emission levels of BPL signals relative to ambient levels of
man-made noise from other sources.
- Require the FCC to provide options for new or improved rules related to the transmission of BPL service that, if
implemented, might prevent harmful interference to public safety and other radio communications systems.