OSCAR News - November, 2ØØ9
On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time. So that means 01-Nov for 2010. More information on Daylight Savings Time can be viewed at
U.S. Naval Oceanography portal.
The next OSCAR meeting is 14-Nov @ 9:00 AM, the second Saturday of the month. Meetings are held in the meeting room at the Owatonna HyVee, 18th Street @ Oak Avenue.
The next SKYWARN meeting is 17-Nov @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
Dale WBØPKG and Tom NØUW spent about 4 hours at the repeater site on 09-Oct. Dale did all of the work while Tom did a good job of staying out of the way. The work included:
Hopefully the work produced positive results. Some changes that will be noticed in operation of the repeater include:
- Shields, wires, screws, etc. were inspected
- A timing circuit was added to minimize the short coming of the repeater controller.
- Duplexers were tuned.
- A 2-meter band pass filter added.
- Emissions from the bus company were looked at.
- Hang time was reduced to 3 seconds.
- The repeater should ID only once every 10 minutes.
- Time-out timer was reduced to 8 minutes.
Leave 1 second between transmissions to reset the time-out timer.
- When the repeater times out, the repeater will remain off until the RX carrier drops.
- There is a 1 second delay in TX (anti-kerchunk) after the transmitter drops.
The 145.490 repeater has generally operated with PL the tone turned off.
Effective 01-Nov, the 100.0 PL tone will turned on permanently.
From Matt KAØPQW
The 224.64 repeater is now on Omni directional receive. For a long time I had the receive part of 224.64 on my 11 el Yagi at 50 feet. That beam broke and so we took that down and put up the Hustler G7 vertical on top of the mast. This should work better for every one now that it is omni directional. I am also going to be expermenting with running it on open squelch, however, operators should run the 110.9 tone if possible. Most of the time it is linked to my UHF repeater 442.925 with a 114.8 PL.
I also carry the Sunday night Albert Lea net on 146.88 and 443.525 with a 100.0 PL and the Wednesday night Glenville area UHF net on 444.975. I would like to encourage people to check in to the Handi-Ham net every day at 11 AM Central Time and on Wednesday nights at 730 Central Time.
Waseca Repeater Update
The Viking ARC indicates the 146.940 repeater will also have the PL permanently enabled. The 141.3 PL will be used. As the Newsletter goes online, it is not known when this change will take place.
The 2010 OSCAR Technician Class is scheduled to start 09-Feb. We will follow the same format as the past couple of years, six 2-hour sessions, a review session, and the VE session. All sessions will be held at the Owatonna Fire Department and begin at 7:00 PM. Sessions are four consecutive Tue/Thu: Feb 09, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, and Mar 02. The VE session will be held on 04-Mar. The class is free, the ARRL License Manual is approximately $25, and the VE session is approximately $15. More details will be posted on the OSCAR web page in January.
The Albert Lea ARC also announced a Technician Class. The classes will be held on four consecutive Saturdays, beginning 09-Jan. Sessions at the Freeborn County Red Cross will run from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. OSCAR will sponsor the VE session on 30-Jan, beginning at 3:00 PM. More information is available from Tom KCØMTW at email@example.com.
International Reply Coupons
The older "Beijing Model No 2" IRC will not be valid after 31-Dec. The new "Nairobi Model" has been available since 10-Sep. Be sure to exchange any "Beijing" coupons for the new IRC.
There has been a lot of conversation recently about the appropriate use of Amateur Radio. The October Newsletter mentioned the incident that created the current buzz. In a follow up action, created an ad-hoc committee to study the issue and prepare suggested guidelines. The ARRL Board of Directors adopted and published
guidelines in September. The guidelines discuss Amateur communications on behalf of Public Service agencies as well and commercial enterprises.
From Multiple Sources
As a follow up to the story in the October Newsletter, the FCC issued a
Public Notice. It clarifyies the Commission's rules relating to the use of Amateur Radio by licensed amateurs participating in drills and exercises on behalf of their employers. It affirms the basic rule that prohibit amateur communications on behalf of an employer. Government agencies can submit a request a for waiver government-sponsored drills and emergency exercises. The notice also emphasizes that a waiver is not required when amateur communications are in connection with the immediate safety of human life and the immediate protection of property when normal communications systems are not available.
The first waiver issued following the Public Notice was issued to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for a drill on 28-Aug.
From Multiple Sources
In response to a request from the ARRL, the National Safety Council (NSC) says that operating mobile does not appear to increase the risk of having an accident. The NSC indicated they do not support legislative bans or prohibition on the use of amateur radios.
On the other hand, Ontario enacted a law that makes it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or e-mail using handheld cell phones and other handheld communications and entertainment devices. In addition, all commercial, CB and Amateur Radio equipment used in moving vehicles by the vehicle operator must be hands-free in operation.
Amateur Radio EMCOMM Bill
Last April, a bill was introduced into the House of Representatives to direct the Department of Homeland Security to
undertake a study on emergency communications with an emphasis on the role that ham radio operators play. Senate Bill 1755 is a Senate companion bill was introduced in October.
From AR Newsline
The Dutch government decided to move the output frequency subband of that nations terrestrial D-Star repeaters from 439 to 440 MHz down to 437 to 438 MHz. This move is to allow the Differential Global Positioning Service to operate at 439.500 MHz and upward. Unfortunately, the new D-Star allocation is in the downlink band of the Amateur Satellite Service. This could cause interference not only within the Dutch, but also surrounding countries.
From Multiple Sources
The national news carried a story of a family being electrocuted while installing an antenna for a relative. They apparently lost conrol of the antenna they were raising and it made contact with the nearby 13KV line. This incident should serve as a reminder to be very careful of all hazards when doing antenna work.
Minneapolis Marathon and D-Star
From AR Newsline
D-Star text messaging is replacing packet radio in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Five Icom D-Star RP-1D access points installed on Twin Cities building rooftops prooved to be 100% reliable during the 2009 event. D-Star digital voice is being phased into the plans for 2010.
The FCC is warning of a spectrum crisis for mobile devices. The increasing demand for bandwidth is expected to outpace the spectrum available for commercial uses. No doubt there will be a review to consider reallocating existing spectrum now used for other purposes, and encouraging development of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently.
Traveling with Lithium Batteries
From Multiple Sources
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is calling for a ban on lithium battery shipments by air. The proposed ban would not include passengers carrying batteries on planes. Since 01-Jan-2008, the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) no longer allows loose lithium batteries in checked baggage. Information on traveling with batteries is available from the
TSA and at
Sunspots and Magnetism
From Multiple Sources
Those of us that work HF recognize the relationship between sunspots and propagation. The July Newsletter included a blurb about the movement of solar jet streams on the sun. Sunspots are made of magnetism, a strong magnetic field that appears dark because it blocks the upward flow of heat from the sun's fiery depths. There has been a lot of discussion on the lack of progression on Cycle 24. Recent observations suggest that sunspot magnetic fields are definitely waning, and could disappear entirely within decades. There is controversy on this prediction because the researchers extrapolated the conclusion from only 17 years of data. This does not cover even two Solar Cycles, which have an 11-year period. The drop in magnetic fields could be a normal aspect of the solar cycle and not a sign that sunspots are permanently vanishing.
From Science Daily
Research suggests generators need to be placed farther away from homes than previously thought. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to half of the incidents of non-fatal carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning reported in the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons involved generators running within 7 feet of the home. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research showed that a generator position 15 feet away from open windows was not far enough to prevent carbon monoxide entry into the house. The amount of CO entering a home is partially based on the wind speed and direction, with slow or stagnant wind allowing the most to enter.
Solar Roof Shingles
Dow Chemical Co announced it would begin selling a new rooftop shingle that converts sunlight into electricity. Thin-film cells of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) cells are integrated into standard asphalt shingles.
USB Soldering Iron
This device may not have enough oomph to do real work, but you never know what situation you may find yourself in.
The USB soldering Iron develops about 300
degrees using a single USB port. A temperature of 350 degrees could be achieved with dual connector USB cords. An option to use a 9V battery pushes the temperature up to 450 degrees.
From New Scientist
History contains stories about the competition for electrical distribution between Edison (DC) and Westinghouse (AC). At that time efficient long-distance transmission required high voltages while the public needed safer, lower voltages. That required transformers, which existed for AC networks, but not for DC. DC, however, is far more efficient because the direction of the current is always in the same direction. The reversal in an AC line induces small currents in the transmission line insulation, which is lost as heat.