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

OSCAR News - August, 27

OSCAR Meeting
The next OSCAR meeting on 11-Aug @ 9:00 AM, the second Saturday of the month. Meetings are held at the Happy Chef on US-14 West and I-35.

The new web site is live and updated. All new postings will be to the new web site. The old web wite will be dismantled, but left with a redirect scripts.

All of the pages were reformatted to look the same. Page widths are generally limited to 700 pixels to minimize the need for scrolling across the page. Pages will be centered on monitors larger than 700 pixels (I hope). All of the links on the web pages were changed to reflect the current directory structure. Let the editor know if you come across a broken link.

Thanks again to Dave KCUVY for making the new web site possible. I know many people will be glad not having to deal with pop-ups and advertising.

Dale WBPKG authored a new propagation page. Dale began this effort to help himself by having all of the propagation tools he uses in one place. The editor would appreciate other submissions to help keep the web pages fresh with new content. Not familiar with html? We're here to help.

Field Day
Kris KCREO passed along the raw data for Field Day. Kris will have more complete data available as he submits the results. In the unaudited results, 523 contacts netted 78 ARRL Sections:

15 CW: 21 15 PH: 9 20 CW: 40 20 PH: 197 40 CW: 62 40 PH: 193 80 CW: 1

Notable contacts included:

  • Dale WBPKG nabbed W1AW.
  • Kris KCREO passed a message to the Section Emergency Manager, N1UW.
  • Tom NUW completed a contact with his former club in IL.

Local News
Matt KPQW has been seen around town performing. His next local appearance will be at the Steele County Historical Society during the Steele County Free Fair.

Spooter training was held at the Fire Station on Tuesday, 24-Jul. The conference room holds 30 people comfortably and well over 40 people were crammed in. Deul NSL and others did a great job recruting new spotters.

Austin Swapmeet
The Austin ARC is hosting a free "Tailgate" ham radio and electronics swapmeet on Saturday, 04-Aug. It will be in the parking lot of Johnny's Restaurant starting at 10:00am, after the regular club meeting. Johnny's is located on North Main Street, across from the Spam Museum.

Rocester SKYWARN Net From Rochester ARC
The Rochester ARC expanded its monthly SKYWARN net to twice a month. Nets are being held on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month on the .255 repeater.

10-meter Net From Rochester ARC
The Rochester ARC now has a 10-meter Net on Tuesday night at 8:00 pm on 28.320 SSB. It meets the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Tuesday (the 2nd Tuesday is RARC club meetings).

Sodium-Sulfur Battery From USA Today
Sodium-Sulfer (NaS) batteries may be poised to store energy for the nation's vast electric grid. The NaS battery is the most advanced of several energy-storage technologies that utilities are testing. Compared with other utility-scale batteries, the NaS battery is compact, long-lasting and efficient. American Electric Power (AEP) has been using a 1.2 megawatt NaS battery in Charleston, W.Va. It supplies 10% of the electricity needs of 2,600 customers. Electricity can be stored when demand is low to feed back into the electrical grid when demand is high.

SDR Regulations From linuxdevices.com
Software-defined radios (SDR) technologies are commonly used in today's mobile phones and other equipment. New regulations, originally proposed by Cisco, took effect affecting the use of open-source software in the devices. The regulations aim to limit access to the source code needed to reprogram it. Improper modifications might include output more power or operate on inappropriate frequencies.

Lightning and Electronics From CNN
Emergency physicians report treating patients with burns from freak accidents while using personal electronic devices such as beepers, Walkman players and laptop computers outdoors during storms. When lightning jumps from a nearby object to a person, it often flashes over the skin. But metal electronic devices, metal jewelry or coins in a pocket can cause contact burns and exacerbate the damage. Contrary to some urban legends and media reports, electronic devices don't attract lightning the way a tall tree or a lightning rod does. The metal components provide an alternate path for the lightening to travel.

Call Sign Military Indicators From Multiple Sources
The Quarter Century Wireless Association had submitted a petition to the FCC for a unique indicator. The indicator is intended to be used by current members of the US military, or those who have been honorably discharged. The proposed indicators included AF (Air Force), AA (Army), NA (Navy), NM (Maribne Corps) and ACG (Coast Guard). The FCC denied the petition indicating the rules already permit indicators, provided they do not conflict with FCC rules or country prefixes.

IQSLUSA Announced From AR Newsline
IQSL USA is a new electronic QSL service. The founders says that it is aimed at both electronic as well paper QSL users and contains several innovative features designed to make QSLing a lot easier.

Weatherbrains From AR Newsline
Weatherbrains is a free web site and Internet radio show. Updated weekly each Tuesday, it takes a look at all sides of weather.

Having an 807??? From ARRL Contest Rate SHeet
While an 807 was a real vacuum tube, a wink turned it into beer. Although the editor continues to run vacuum tube equipment, he is too young for this one. Apparantly, the 807 tube resembled a bottle of beer and became associated with it in ham folklore.

Stub Filters From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Stub filters can be used to minimize or prevent inter-station interference. They can also be used to tune out interference to consumer broadcast radios and TVs. This article by G3SEK shows how stub filters can be put to work.

Coax Evaluation From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
Line loss in coax can degrade the signal between the antenna and radio. Cost and quality of different coax types go hand in hand. Comparisons can be made using these web sites:

Background Checks From ARRL Letter
The ARRL Board adopted a policy that "communications volunteers participating in ARRL-sponsored programs should not be required by served agencies to undergo background investigations of any kind". The policy does suggest that criminal background checks performed by law enforcement agencies are acceptable. This policy is clearly aimed at the background checks required by the American Red Cross. The ARRL will probably incorporate this policy in future Memoranda of Understanding agreements.