OSCAR News - January, 2ØØ9
The next OSCAR meeting is 10-Jan @ 9:00 AM, the second Saturday of the month. Meetings are held at the Happy Chef at US-14 West and I-35.
The next SKYWARN meeting is 20-Jan @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
Elections were held at the December meeting for 2009 officers. The results are:
Congratulations to all.
- President Dale WBØPKG
- Secretary Tom NØUW
- Treasurer Mike KDØDKC
OSCAR membership is open to all having an interest in Amateur Radio. Dues support the club with miscellaneous expenses and Field Day activities. Membership dues are $10, and are based on the calendar year. We appreciate all who support the club through their membership.
OSCAR Technician Class
For the fourth consecutive year, OSCAR will hold a Techician License class. The free classes will follow the format used last year and begin 10-Feb. Class concludes with a VE Session on 05-Mar. The Exam Fee is $15 for 2009. Questions and pre-registration can be directed to class organizers Dale WBØPKG and Tom NØUW. Additional instructors include Jeff KCØUOW and Marv NØFJP. Additional details are posted on the
OSCAR 2009 Class Page. Updates will be posted as they become available.
Class content will be based on the ARRL
License Manual. The manual can be purchased directly from the ARRL for $24.95 plus $8.00 S&H. There is an opportunity to purchase the License Manual through OSCAR for $20, including S&H. Participants must pre-register and pre-pay for the License to qualify for the discount.
Albert Lea VE Session
OSCAR supported the Albert Leac ARC with a VE Session at the conclusion of their Technician Class. Willis KAØKEL, Paul WØFEI, Deuel NSØL, and Tom NØUW traveld to Albert Lea on 02-Dec. A clean sweep for 5 individuals, netting four new licences. Albert Lea ARC extends thier appreciation to OSCAR VE Team for the support.
James KDØFXA (Northfield)
Jason KDØFXB (Albert Lea)
Ray KDØFXC (Hollandale)
Henry KDØFXD (Owatonna), Henry was grandfathered to his previous General Class (ex-??????).
Justin KCØMPQ (Springfield), Justin traveled 120 miles to achieve his upgrade to General.
From Multiple Sources
2008 includes a leap second on 31-Dec. The U.S. Naval Observatory adds a "leap second" to clocks at 6:59 EST on December 31. In 1970, two timescales were created: one based on atomic time and a second based on the Earth's rotation. To keep the scales within one second of each other, the Naval Observatory is adding a "leap second" at its Master Clock Facility in Washington, D.C. This marks the 24th time a "leap second" will be added to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) scale since 1972. The last was added on December 31, 2005.
After deliberating over the leap second for years, a group within the ITU is recommending abolishing the leap second. The arguement is that a timescale that doesn't need regular tweaking is essential in an increasingly interconnected world. The ITU is due to vote on the proposal at the World Radio Conference in 2011. If the leap second is removed, some adjustment to atomic time may eventually be needed. Over the course of a millennium, the differences would accumulate to about an hour and our descendants would experience sunrise at completely different times of day to us.
In theory, adding a second is as easy as flipping a switch, but it rarely works that way. In 1998 - two leap seconds ago - cellphone communications blacked out over part of the southern US. Different regions of service had slipped into slightly different times, preventing proper relaying of signals.
Canadian Time CHU
After 70 years of broadcasting Canada's official time, shortwave station CHU will move the transmission frequency for the 7335 kHz transmitter to 7850 kHz. The change goes into effect at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2009. In April 2007, the ITU reallocated the 7300-7350 kHz band from a fixed service to a broadcasting service. The NRC said there has been a lot of interference on the 7335 kHz frequency from many information broadcasters around the world.
Meteor Shower Guide
From Earth Sky
One aspect of Amateur Radio propagation is the effect of meteor showers. For others, meteor showers are just fun to watch. You can get a preview of the events for 2009 at
Earth Sky. The first event is 03-Jan.
From ARRL Club News
Hams across the United States are being asked by the FCC to assist in the upcoming conversion of all television broadcasting to digital operation. The FCC is leaving it up to the clubs to decide how to do this because they believe that local groups understand the communities in ways that the FCC does not. In early January the FCC will ask for the names and contact information of the volunteering groups. The FCC staff will then make contact with the groups, learn their plans and provide them with the media, brochures or other materials that groups and clubs may need in this effort. FCC regional staff members may even visit with larger organizations to aid in implementation of the group's plans.
Hams should not make "house calls," sell any equipment or do actual installations. The request is only to distribute technical information, FCC materials, and answer questions. As a volunteer, you cannot accept payment or recover expenses. Interested groups should contact their ARRL Section Manager.
FEMA Independent Study
From ARES E-Letter
Be sure to take advantage of the independent study programs of FEMA's Emergency Management Institute. Many new courses have been added, and a few of the classic original courses have been revised. Some of the newer courses of interest for RACES/ARES include:
Education in all of these should be RACES/ARES training goals.
- IS-102 Deployment Basics for FEMA Response Partners (New 9/9/2008)
- IS-802 Emergency Support Functions (ESF) #2 - Communications (New 8/6/2008)
- IS-775 EOC Management and Operations (New 8/6/2008)
- IS-100.a Introduction to Incident Command System (Revised 7/28/2008)
- IS-200.a ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents (Revised 7/28/2008)
- IS-809 Emergency Support Function (ESF) #9 - Search and Rescue (5/21/2008)
- IS-808 Emergency Support Function (ESF) #8 - Public Health and Medical Services (4/11/2008)
- IS-800.B National Response Framework, An Introduction (2/4/2008)
Sound Powered Devices
From Science Daily
No, we are not talking about two cans and a string. We know that crystals used for radio equipment are based on the interaction of mechanical and electrical energy. Piezoelectrics generate voltage when a form of mechanical stress is applied, and change their physical properties when an electric field is applied. Researchers have found that a certain type of piezoelectric material can covert energy at a 100 percent increase when manufactured at a very small size – in this case, around 21 nanometers in thickness. When materials are constructed bigger or smaller than this specific size they show a significant decrease in their energy-converting capacity. The thought is this discovery could reduce the need for the testing and replacing of batteries.
From New Scientist
On a related note, Israeli researchers are looking at placing piezoelectric crystals under road asphalt. Heavy traffic from passing vehicles would convert convert vibrations into electricity. researchers suggest crystals could produce up to 400 kilowatts from a 1-kilometre stretch of four-lane highway. Testing the system on a 100-metre stretch of road in northern Israel is scheduled for January.
From Popular Communications Magazine
Radio Netherlands has decided to end its shortwave broadcasts beamed to North America. Although a survey showed a decline in listeners to the service, listeners are upset with the Radio Netherlands decision. They say that they do not want to be shackled to a computer to hear the programs that they have been able hear froma shirt pocket sized receiver for years. Programming that used to come via skywave will now be delivered using more modern means. This includes streaming audio on the Internet, satellite transmissions and over the Sirius subscription service.
Antenna Ice Removal
From ARRL Contest Update
A "kolkutin" (loosely - "clanger") is used by the Finns to knock ice off booms and elements.
Jari OH8LQ built this model. Pull on the rope and "Clang!", down comes the ice!
Cellular Power Backup
From PC World
The FCC is revising a proposed rule mandating backup power for cellular networks. The rule, proposed in 2007, would have required mobile operators to certify they could keep all their base stations running on backup power for at least eight hours after a natural disaster or other event. It was prompted by the findings of a panel that found power outages were a factor in the lack of communication after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The mobile industry, of course, objected. The FCC later exempted some base stations, but that didn't satisfy the carriers.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also rejected the proposal because the FCC did not solicit public comments. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was holding off on a ruling until the OMB's decision.
Wireless Power Distribution
Ever feel the need to be truly corless? The Nevada Lightning Laboratory experiments with Nicola Tesla's methods of wireless power transmission. They recently pushed 800 Watts over 5 meters. The previous record by MIT last year was 60W over 2 meters.
Ham Radio Video
From AR Newsline
A new website dedicated to ham radio and hobby radio related films is now on line. The site contains many amateur radio video clips and shows covering the past 70 years. Also there are a large number of videos showing to other aspects of hobby radio including some about 1960's off-shore radio broadcasting.
From PC World
The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Commodore 64 as the best-selling computer model of all time. Sales estimates range from 17 million to 30 million units worldwide between 1982 and 1994. This PC World article will walk you through the outside and inside of this artifact.
From PC World
Industry analysts indicate PCs are being purchased not for the hardware but because people want to get their hands on a copy of Windows XP. PCs are being disposed of because Microsoft's Windows Vista requires greater hardware capabilities. On the pther hand, consumers and businesses prefer used PCs with Windows XP because they still have older copies of software programs that often don't run properly on Vista. Buying a used PC is also an inexpensive way for price-sensitive users to secure an XP license. As always, users need to ensure they are buying hardware with a genuine XP license.
Diaper Rash Cream and Light
From Sciene Daily
Scientists have found that a cheap and nontoxic sunburn and diaper rash preventative can be made to produce brilliant light best suited to the human eye. Adding sulfur to ultra-fine powders of commonplace zinc oxide at about 1,000 degrees centigrade allows the preparation to convert invisible ultraviolet light into a remarkably bright and natural form of white light.
Scientists have long known that zinc oxide can itself serve as a solid state ultraviolet light source. They have also known that adding sulfur allows it to emit some white light. The introduced sulfur is thought to boost wavelength conversions from ultraviolet to visible wavelengths by serving as an "impurity" that changes the chemistry and physics of the zinc oxide.
From AR Newsline
The D-Star Forum has more than 600 radio amateurs world-wide posting. There is a weekly D-Star net on reflector 5A on Saturdays at 19.00 UTC.