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

OSCAR News - October, 27

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

The next SKYWARN meeting is 16-Oct @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.

Emergency Exercise
Steele County held an emergency exercise drill in Blooming Prairie on 22-Sep. The scenario was a tornado identified and reported by SKYWARN rolled into downtown Blooming Prairie. A chemical spill at Arkema along with suspicious devices and a leaky water tower all added to the confusion. Amateur Radio was called upon to provide communications between the Blooming Prairie EOC and Owatonna Hospital.

Tom was behind the eight ball and was not able to solicit amateur volunteers on a timely basis. Hams were involved as participants from other groups. Those identified were Tom NUW; Jeff KCUOW; Matt KAPQW; and Mohammed KCWPZ. Jeff' role was as Incident Commander for the CERT group. Matt coordinated communications on a bus used to transport players. Tom filled in as Dispatch. Mohammed was a CERT volunteer working a cribbing exercise.

Prior to the drill, Jeff and Tom did some leg work to see how well the county handheld radios would work across the drill area. We identified that handheld-to-handheld coverage would be sketchy. Tom set his mobile dual band for cross-band repeat to provide some back-up via Jeff, Matt, and Tom, if needed. The amateur radio backup provided by was not needed as the EOC was on the second floor of the city building and provided just enough height to accomplish communications with the EOC.

Technician Class
OSCAR is working with the Albert Lea ARC to put on a Technician Class in Albert Lea. Details are still being worked out, but the class may start in October. If you know any one that might be interested, please send Tom NUW a note via the OSCAR e-mail.

Dakota Division Vice Director From ARRL
Greg Widin, KGW, of Stillwater, Minnesota, was named as Dakota Division Vice Director. Currently serving as Vice President and Training Director for the Stillwater Amateur Radio Association, Widin has also served as Assistant Section Manager and Technical Specialist in the Minnesota section. Widin replaces Twila Greenheck, NJPH, who resigned due to family responsibilities.

Celbrating Sputnik From ARNewsline
AMSAT-North America will mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Russia's first Sputnik artificial satellite with a special event on AO-51 on the evening of Wednesday, October 3rd local U-S time. To commemorate the occasion, AO-51 will rebroadcast original Sputnik telemetry and a congratulatory message to mark the event during passes over North America on the evening which translates to October 4th UTC. At this time, only the passes over North America will be able to carry the special event.

Jamboree on the Air From ARRL Letter
Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) celebrates its 50th year on October 19-21. The event is normally 48 hours, but is being extended to 50 hours in recognition of the anniversary, event, this year's JOTA will be 50 hours long . Boy and Girl Scouts use JOTA to get on the air to talk with other Scouts around the world.

Vanity Fees Reduced From ARRL
The FCC reduced the regulatory fee to obtain or renew an Amateur Radio vanity call sign. The Commission cut the fee from $20.80 to $11.70.

Stealth Cellular Antenna From National Geographic
The September issue of National Geographic includes a feature on camouflaged cellular sites.

Grid Locator From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
QRZ.com has a new grid locator.

Lightning and Airplanes
The editor came across this interesting link showing an airliner taking off from Osaka, Japan.

New Cell Phone Research From PC World
A study of 300 people in Australia, England and the Netherlands suggest that mobile phone use may cause a slowing of brain activity. According to the study, frequent mobile phone users demonstrated slowed brain function. The slowed brain effects, however, are still considered within normal brain functioning. The study also found that frequent users also showed improved focused attention, which was explained by a learning effect due to making more phone calls in busy places where users had to focus better on a phone call while filtering out background noise and other distractions.

QRS, The Song From ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
"QRS means slow it down" turns into a funky little ditty by at K3PI.

White Space Revisited From PC World
In the September newsletter, we reported that a device intended to be used in TV "white space" was tested by the FCC and failed. New test results showed the wireless device correctly detected TV signals and stayed out of that part of the spectrum 100 percent of the time. The group indicated the original device used for testing was damaged and caused the failure.

WAS The Hard Way From ARRL Letter
Al Ward, W5LUA, of Allen, Texas, is the first person to achieve the ARRL's Worked All States (WAS) on 1296 MHz. Ward started the 30-year quest in 1977.

Drive-Up Antenna Connection From World Radio
The Green Valley (AZ) ARC worked out an agreement with the Titan Missile Museum to have a drive up connection to a 80-foot high disc cone antenna. A box is installed along the side of the road so hams can connect their mobile rig to the antenna.

More D-STAR From ARNewsline
The September Newsletter, referenced the ARRL asking repeater coordinating councils to recognize D-STAR and accomodate it. One question was if D-STAR was a repeater system. The National Frequency Coordinators' Council is now asking the FCC to declare this to be the case. Apparantly, the FCC earlier concluded that digital protocols such as D-STAR and APCO 25 were not repeater systems becasue there was a delay between the input and output. The NFCC want to let the FCC know that they believe any device that retransmits an audio signal in near to real time is a repeater and should be treated as such.

More PAVE PAWS From ARNewsline
The reduction of interference to the governments Pave Paws radar on the 70 centimeter band resulted in at least four Massaxhusetts U-H-F repeaters terminating operation. The Department of Defense also identified additional sources of interference in Massachusetts. More than 100 repeaters in California are also being scrutinized.

Ham Radio Film From ARNewsline
A film from Metro Goldwayn Mayer that promotes Amateur Radio has surfaced on the Internet. Radio Hams centers on a family called to dinner. All but the teenage son respond. When family members go looking for him, one by one they are snared into a world of ham radio high adventure. One that includes a rescue in Alaska and a tragic search for a downed aircraft at sea. It's a fully scripted 10 minute dramatic presentation featuring a cast of professional actors. You can see it on-line at YouTube.

International Reply Coupons From ARRL Letter
International Reply Coupons (IRCs) issued within the US prior to 2002 must be redeemed by October 10. IRCs with an expiration date of December 31, 2006 can also be redeemed must be redeemed by September 1, 2008.

On The BPL Front From ARNewsline
NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, issued a report of the anticipated effects that widespread implementation of BPL would have on the High Frequency spectrum. The report suggests there is a high probability that BPL would cause increased noise levels at sensitive receiver sites given the projected market penetration.