OSCAR News - December, 2ØØ9
The next OSCAR meeting is 12-Dec @ 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 December OSCAR meeting is the traditional election of new officers.
Be there or be elected - we've done it before.
OSCAR dues are based on a calendar year and can be renewed for $10 through any officer.
The next SKYWARN meeting is 15-Dec @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
Field Day Results
The Field Day 2009 results were published in the December QST. The results for Steele County RACES/OSCAR were impressive:
What makes these results so great is that the contest part of Field Day was not the primary emphasis. Thanks to all that participated and worked to make it the success that it was.
- Out of 2,612 stations that submitted results to the ARRL we placed 266 overall, just missing the to ten percent.
- In the 4A category we placed 28 of the toal 130 entries.
- In the Dakota division we placed 8 of 80 entries.
- In the 4A category, in the Dakota Division we placed first.
Santa Claus may be able to fly around the world in a sleigh, but even he can't cross North American airspace without NORAD knowing about it. The North Warning System, a network of 47 radars strung across the continent's northernmost frontier, tells NORAD when St. Nick takes off from the North Pole. Infrared satellites track the jolly old elf's flight path once he's airborne. For more than 50 years, the joint American-Canadian air command that safeguards the continent against aerial attack has used its sophisticated tracking technology to follow Kris Kringle's journey and provide real-time updates on his location to children worldwide. Track Santa's progress.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technician Question Pool
For those that may be hesitating to get their license, the current Technician Class Question Pool expires 30-Jun. The new question pool will be released to the public in January 2010 and takes effect on 01-Jul. OSCAR and Albert Lea have both experienced good passing rates with the current question pool. Until the new question pool is released, we can't say if the test will be harder or easier in July.
The question pools for each license class are changed on a rotating 4 year sequence. The current General class question pool became effective July 1, 2007 and is valid through June 30, 2011. The current Amateur Extra class pool is valid until June 30, 2012.
From AR Newsline
Continuing from the stories in the October and November Newsletters. A proposal was submitted to the FCC to amend Part 97 to allow any ham to participate in a training drill. The wording in the proposal would permit transmissions necessary for disaster relief or emergency response, including training
exercises, planning, drills or tests without regard to whether the amateur operator has related employment. This would eliminate the waiver outlined in the
Public Notice issued in October.
From AR Newsline
Part of the digital TV conversion was the reallocation of spectrum from TV to other wireless services. The prediction is that demand for broadband spectrum will outpace supply. Regulators are giving consideration to reallocating more TV spectrum to other services. A proposal is expected to be released in February.
Waste Heat Recovery
Anyone that has held a battery device recognizes the heat that is generated. Researchers are looking to recover that heat and turn it back into usable energy. The use of thermal diodes could raise the efficiency of the conversion process. By actively recharging batteries, devices could run twice as long.
From AR Newsline
Broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers created a technical standard for transmitting digital TV signals to cellular telephones and other mobile devices. In addition, the Advanced Television Systems Committee announced approval of a ATSC Mobile Digital television Standard.
From AR Newsline
PRB-1 addresses ham radio installations relating to local zoning ordinance. It does not extend to restrictions as part of a covenant, condo, or town home. The FCC, however, has been more involved with private restrictions when broadcast TV antennas are involved. A 1996 law prohibits governmental and private restrictions that impair the ability of antenna users to install, maintain, or use over-the-air reception devices. It also applies to satellite dishes one meter or less
Installing PL-259 Connectors
From ARRL Club News
Want a good video on installing a Pl-259 Connector? Here are a couple of YouTube links showing how it might be done:
- Installing a PL-259 on RG-213
- Installing a PL-259 on RG8X
Plastic Optical Fibres
From Science Daily
High quality optical fibres have traditionally been made of glass. Glass provides the best solution for transferring large amounts of data at a high speed. Plastics are used in less demanding applications due to higher attenuation and lower bandwidth. Scientists are working with plastic fibres as a high speed switch. The switching occurs with two light pulses,using one light pulse to cancel the other.
Flex Satellite Antennas
From European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) is studying to determine if flexible antennas are feasible in personal satellite communications. The testing uses the Iridium (L-band) satellites. The antenna is intended to be integrated as part of clothing. There are severla issues to be resolved for successful development:
- The electrical behaviour of the material used.
- Antenna performance as it experiences different kinds of bending conditions. How to maintain the critical antenna parameters at acceptable levels in all conditions.
- Manufacturing to make the antenna robust enough against manufacturing tolerances.
National Radio Quiet Zone
Take a tour of the Great Big Telescope hidden in the green hills of West Virginia. The GBT may end up being the last single-dish telescope of its kind. Radio arrays are good at looking at the details, similar to atelephoto lens. The GBT looks over a wider area and is good at finding a source. Because the telescope is so sensitive, it is in a 13,000-square-mile National Radio Quiet Zone. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has a van that drives around the surrounding countryside asking people to stop using their wireless speaker systems, electric fences, broadband wireless modems, military radar, etc. — anything that might interfere with the telescope’s readings.
From University of Pittsburgh
The January Newsletter mentioned the "kolkutin" for ice removal. The University of Pittsburgh is working on a coating that stops ice build-up. The superhydrophobic coating is a silicone resin-solution with nanoparticles of silica that are extremely small. The coating has been tested outdoors in freezing rain environments and worked successful on aluminum surfaces and commercially produced satellite dishes. The coating may be applicable to a wide range of materials, even roads.
From Purdue University
Transistors are physically flat components. Purdue researchers are working to make them 3-dimensional. Adding a third dimension would enable faster and more compact circuits. The devices are being called "finFETs" for fin field-effect-transistors.
Michael KBØRXR (email@example.com or 271-4711) is offering a couple of pieces of radio gear to someone who would like them or can use them:
- Kenwood TM-2530A.
- 2 meter ht amp: 7 watts in 80 watts out (5 in 50 out).
Great for an HT.
Tom NØUW is looking for an older 400MHz radio, preferably with PL capabilities. An ideal candidate would be omething along the lines of an HT like an IC-04AT. It needs to receive only.