OSCAR News - January, 2Ø1Ø
CERT Annual Meeting
RACES/ARES volunteers are invited to attend the CERT Annual Meeting on 07-Jan at the Community Center on the Fairgrounds. The event begins at 6PM with a presentation on identity theft by Darrell Hildebrandt from the Rochester Police Department. After the presentation, there will be a short business meeting, some volunteer recognition, and refreshments. We participated in a drill this year with CERT. This is a good opportunity to network with other volunteer groups in Steele County. RSVP to Shirley Woodfill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 451-8685.
The next OSCAR meeting is 09-Jan @ 9:00 AM, the second Saturday of the month. Meetings are held in the meeting room at the Owatonna HyVee, 18th Street @ Oak Avenue.
OSCAR dues are based on a calendar year and can be renewed for $10 through any officer.
The next Steele County CERT training class is being held at the Owatonna Fire Department in January and February with a combination of 3 Saturdays and 3 Thursday evenings: Saturdays (January 9th 8 am to 1 pm, January 16th & 30th 8 am to noon & 1 pm to 4 pm), Thursday evenings (January 21st , February 4th and February 11th from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm).
The next SKYWARN meeting is 19-Jan @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
The Viking Amateur Radio Society has scheduled a Technician and/or General license class starting January 14, 2010 at 7:00 at the EOC. A CW class will also be offered if there is one or more interested students.
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.
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.
New officers were elected at the December meeting. Dale WBØPKG and Tom NØUW both decided to step down. The membership extends appreciation to both for the years of service they provided to the club. Mike KDØDKC agreed to continue as Treasurer for another year. The membership nominated and elected for 2010:
President: Dennis NØRPI
Secretary: Brian KØBDD
Treasurer: Mike KDØDKC
The webmaster completed a full review of everything on the Links Page. We checked for broken links, updated new sources, and some general reorganization. Take some time and see what is there. As always, contact OSCAR if there are any links that should not be there. Suggestions are always accepted.
Learning Amateur Radio
From Multiple Sources
With all of the current opportunities for classes and VE sessions, the need for practive exams and other resources should be in demand. Here are some recent additions to the Links Page. A set of online exam practice tests allows users to track their test scores over time and see which sub elements are giving them the most trouble. Online study resources are provided for many of the questions.
A set of PowerPoint presentations licensing materials is available at
Public Service SDR
From AR Newsline
One of the difficulties with most Public Service equipment is that it can only operate within a specific frequency band. The Department of Homeland Security provided a $6.2 million contract to Thales Communications to develop a solution. The goal: develop and demonstrate a portable radio prototype that lets emergency responders-police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and others-communicate with partner agencies, regardless of the radio band they operate on. The Liberty radio is the result, operating in primary public safety bands between 136-174 MHz, 380-520 MHz as well as in the 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands. Priced at over $4,000, they are a little more expensive than an ICOM tri-bander.
Swiss scientists created a battery made up of salt and paper battery. It is as thin as a single piece of paper, but it is made up of multiple layers of cellulose, coated in a conductive polymer 50 nanometers thick, and sandwiched between layers of filter paper. Water conducts the chlorine ions to the negative electrode, and electrons to the positive electrode. The assembly is several millimeters thick and wrapped in plastic. Although it isn't as powerful as more traditional thin-film cells, it does charge faster than metallic batteries. The emphasis in the development is to produce a biodegradable device.
From New Scientist
The problem is that conventional LEDs produce light only at specific wavelengths. White LEDs can be simulated by combining LEDs of different color that look white when the colors are combined. Blue LEDs can also be coated in a phosphor that absorbs a portion of the emitted bluish light and re-emits it as amber, with the combination seen as white. Organic LEDs can be manufactured with dyes that emit blue and amber photons. The dyes, however, break down under high currents. One idea under investigation is stacking two white-light-emitting layers in a single device so that they operate in series.
From Multiple Sources
Transistors are the basic element of computer design. Components using optical fibers carrying light could operate faster than those using wires to carry electricity. Researchers are looking at optical transistors, where one laser beam to control another. A green laser beam was used to switch an orange laser beam from weak to strong. This is similar to the way a transistor's control electrode switches a current between "on" and "off" voltages. Some of the components are cooled to -457 °F, i.e. one degree above absolute zero. At low temperatures, molecules seem to increase their apparent surface area for interaction with light. The basis for the principle were described by Albert Einstein over 90 years ago. Don't look for this one in your next PC too soon.
Breast Cancer Imaging
From Bristol Oncology Centre
Researchers developed a new technology using radio waves to image breast cancer. Tumors have different electrical properties from the surrounding tissue. The imaging technique captures high-resolution, 3D images through the use of harmless radio waves. An array of small antennas is placed around a breast-shaped cup, into which the breast is placed while the woman lies on her front. The signal is transmitted from each element and is then received by all the other elements, effectively 'sweeping' across the breast. The electrical difference between the different types of breast tissue causes a reflection that produces a 3D image, which, in principle, can detect tumors as small as two millimeters across.
From Multiple Sources
Variance-based radio tomographic imaging works by visualizing variations in radio waves as they travel to nodes in a wireless network. Researchers
demonstrated the ability to track movement using inexpensive radio transceivers that send and receive signals. The Zigbee wireless network consisted of 28 nodes placed in a 14-foot square pattern. Nodes were spaced 3 feet to each other and 4 feet above ground. A Zigbee network is often used by wireless home thermostats and other home or factory automation. People don't need to wear radio-transmitting ID tags. Radio tomographic imaging (RTI) measures "shadows" in radio waves created when they pass through a moving person or object. Radio signal strengths between all nodes are measured as a person around the area. A bird's-eye-view is produced on a computer screen with a blob-like image of the person.
From Green Plug
Here's a concept whose time is long overdue. How many wall warts do you own? Probably one for each and evry portable electronic device you own. Green Plug develops and markets embeddable power supply technology. All cables and connectors are uniform and they communicate with the electronic devices so, they work with any device.