OSCAR News - June, 2ØØ8
The next OSCAR meeting is 14-Jun @ 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 17-Jun @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
Happy Chef Discount
On the first Friday of each month, KOWZ radio holds an "radio auction" of discount certifciates for various retailers. In May, the auction includes certificates for Happy Chef. A $10 certificate sold for $7. The items on the auction change each month and quantities are limited.
- Tony WØUI is the newest OSCAR member.
- OSCAR received a memorial gift from the family of Gordy, KAØKEM.
OSCAR will participate in Field Day at the Crane Creek School Park. The park is on US-14 West at County Highway 17 (NW 52nd Ave), about three miles west of Wal-Mart. Sheriff Ringhofer approved an overnight operation for OSCAR and the Steele County EOC trailer will be transported from Ellendale. Equipment offered for the operation include:
- Dave WBØVAK: Tilt-over Tower
- Jeff KCØUOW: 6 meter dipole, 2 meter beam, 40 meter vertical, HF rig
- Kevin KDØAJB: AD DXCC 80 - 10 meter vertical, camper
- Marv NØFJP: Generator
- Dale WBØPKG: 20-15-10 meter Vertical, HF rig
- Tony WØUI: tents
Of course, anyone interested in Amateur Radio is invited.
Medical Reserve Corps Orientation
The mission of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is to improve the health and safety of communities across the country by organizing and utilizing public health, medical and other volunteers. MRC units are community-based and function as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources. An orientation is scheduled for 10-Jun at 6:30pm It will be held at the Steele County Annex Building, 635 Florence Ave.
Extra Class (Element 4) Exams
From Multiple Sources
The newest Extra class question pool will take effect for all Element 4 Extra class license written exams beginning 01-Jul. The new question pool was released to the public in December 2007 (and revised in February 2008) by the Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiners.
Vanity Call Sign Fees
The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking to raise fees for Amateur Radio vanity call signs. The proposed fee is $12.30 for 10 years, up from $11.70. The FCC is authorized to collect vanity call sign fees to recover the costs associated with that program. The vanity call sign regulatory fee is payable not only when applying for a new vanity call sign, but also upon renewing a vanity call sign for a new term.
Red Cross Background Checks
From ARES E-Letter
The ARRL and American Red Cross (ARC) have been at odds for over a year regarding the ARC requirements for background checks of ARES volunteers providing services to the Red Cross during disasters. The original ARC requirement included a credit check and a "mode of living" check. The new ARC requirement is limited to the name and social security number verification of the individual, and a criminal background check.
From ARRL Letter
Ten satellites reached orbit 28-Apr via an Indian PSLV-C9 rocket. In addition to the non-amateur payloads, the rocket carried six CubeSat research satellites using Amateur Radio frequencies. All spacecraft deployed normally and appear to be functional at this time:
- The SEEDS satellite was designed and built by students at Japan's Nihon University. SEEDS will download telemetry in Morse code and 1200-baud FM AFSK packet radio at 437.485 MHz. The satellite also has Slow-Scan TV (SSTV) capability.
- Can-X2 is a product of students at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Space Flight Laboratory (UTIAS/SFL). Can-X2 will downlink telemetry at 437.478 MHz using 4 kbps GFSK, but the downlink will be active only when the satellite is within range of the Toronto ground station.
- Compass-One was designed and built by students at Aachen University of Applied Sciences in Germany. The satellite features a Morse code telemetry beacon at 437.275 MHz. Compass-1 will also provide a packet radio data downlink, which will include image data, at 437.405 MHz.
- Cute 1.7 + APDII is a satellite created by students at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. This satellite will not only provide telemetry, it will also offer a 9600-baud packet store-and-forward message relay with an uplink at 1267.6 MHz and a downlink at 437.475 MHz.
- Delfi-C3 was designed and built by students at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. It includes an SSB/CW linear transponder. The satellite will be in telemetry-only mode for the first three months of the mission, after which it will be switched to transponder mode. Delfi-C3 downlinks 1200-baud packet telemetry at 145.870 MHz. The linear transponder, when activated, will have an uplink passband from 435.530 to 435.570 MHz and a corresponding downlink passband from 145.880 to 145.920 MHz.
Satellite Laser Communication
From Science Daily
Satellites currently use radio waves to exchange data. A test between two satellites using diode laser pump modules spanned more than 5000 kilometers in spaces. The bandwidth was a hundred times greater than by radio waves and was error free. This could make it possible to transmit large data packets between several satellites in the future, such as transferring image data from Earth observation satellites to a ground station. Since lasers are easier to focus than radio waves, data transmissions can be directed more accurately. The modules are the size of a matchbox and weigh little more than a bar of chocolate. Despite the small size, disapating the heat generated by the laser’s several-watt output is a challenge.
Your Name In Space
Would you like to send your name into space? Submit your name and it will be stored on a DVD and rocketed into space on board the Kepler spacecraft. Kepler is NASA's first mission capable of detecting Earth-size and smaller planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars. The spacecraft is planned to be launched from Kennedy Space Center in February 2009. The spacecraft will be launched into orbit around the Sun, not the Earth, with an orbital period of 372 days. The spacecraft will slowly drift away from the Earth, such that in about 25 years it will be half an Earth orbit away, 300 million kilometers distant from the Earth, passing behind the Sun as viewed from Earth.
Name in Space is an activity in association with the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and is an activity in recognition of the 400th anniversary of Kepler's publication of his first two laws of planetary motion. A printable certificate will appear When you submit your name. The deadline to submit your name is November 1, 2008.
FCC Spectrum Auction
From PC World
The Federal Communications Commission voted to ask for public comments on how to re-auction the D block. The D block is a 10MHz piece of spectrum that commissioners had wanted to pair with another 10MHz controlled by public-safety agencies. The winner would build a nationwide wireless voice and data network to be shared by public-safety agencies and commercial users. The FCC asked whether it was still appropriate to keep the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST), a coalition of 15 public-safety groups that controls the second 10MHz block that would have been paired with the D block. It also asks for ideas on how to auction the D block if it's not paired with the public-safety spectrum and what fees are appropriate for a combined network.
Solar Cycle Delayed
The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will most likely start next March and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012. That's up to a year later than expected according to a forecast by NOAA's Space Environment Center. The predition is part of a
Press Release. Expected to start last fall, a panel of experts were split on whether a weak or strong period of solar storms lies ahead.
Super Strength Signals
From Science Daily
researchers from the UK discovered a particular window of time when mobile signals and radio waves are 'super strength'. The research, examining the signal strength of radio waves travelling over the sea, identified late afternoons and early evenings in spring and summer as a time when enhanced signals occur. Between August 2003 and August 2005, three long-range radio paths operating at 2 GHz were established in the British Channel Islands. Signal strength enhancements were observed on all three radio paths, predominantly in the late afternoon and evening periods, in the spring and summer months. During these periods, which occur only approximately 5-10% of the time, the influence of higher-altitude radio wave 'trapping' structures has been verified.
From Several Sources
The May SKYWARN Newsletter, reported on cloud formations that appeared in Iran prior to an earthquake. Preceeding the recent earthquake in China, aurora-like lights were reported. Earthquakes have long been accompanied by the appearance of bright, luminescent, multicoloured sky glows that can take place any time before, during, or after the seismological event. The luminosity is typically visible for several seconds, but there have been cases in which they lasted tens of minutes. Earthquake lights have been accompanied by low-frequency radio noise in the 10 to 20 kHz range, causing interference with radio communications. The phenomenon currently remains unexplained. One theory suggests that earthquake lights are a form of plasma discharge caused by the release of gases from within the Earth that somehow become electrically charged in the air.
From New Scientist
A conventional lens cannot focus light down to more than about half its wavelength, the "diffraction limit". This limits the amount of data that can be stored on a CD, and the size of features on computer chips. A new lens is a 127-micrometer-thick plate of teflon and ceramic with a copper topping. The goal is to create many capacitors sandwiched together, and interact directly with electromagnetic waves like light. The currents in the capacitors focus the waves passing through the lens into a point 20 times smaller than their wavelength,10 times tighter than a conventional lens. Researchers are working with prototypes designed for microwaves. The lenses may help refine a technique to transfer power wirelessly, creating more energy-dense beams of the electromagnetic waves used to transfer power.
Technician Study Guide
From REACT International
If you are looking for an inexpensive study guide for the Technician Class license -- how about free? Paul N5IUT developed an excellent 100+ page study guide with photos or examples which covers the entire new question pool. The download file is about 3.5mb in size.
From New Scientist
The Bluetooth wireless link is built into many cellphones. A UK team demonstrated that it enables anyone equipped with a PC and an appropriate receiver to track your movements. Over four months, the team tracked 10,000 Bluetooth phones and was able to "capture and analyse people's encounters" in pubs, streets and shops.
Kenwood 7850 2 meter radio, all cords, auto brackets, instruction book, original box, etc. Astron 7amp power supply. Magnet mount antenna. All in excellent condition. Ready to use. First $100.00 takes it. de KAØKEL
Amateurs vs. BPL
From CommLaw Blog
Most of the information on BPL presented here has been from the Amateur Radio perspective. The legal group of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth included a commentary on the FCC vs. ARRL debate on BPL. It is interesting reading and looks at both side of the issue.