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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 14-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - March, 2Ø1Ø

OSCAR Meeting
The next OSCAR meeting is 13-Mar @ 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 16-Mar @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station. The Steele County SKYWARN Spotter Class is scheduled for 09-Mar.

Local News

  • Congratulations to Bob KDGVU on his upgrade to Extra Class.

Technician Class
The 2010 Technician license class began with a bang. The instructors include Dennis NRPI, Dale WBPKG, Dave ACMT, Jeff KCUOW, and Tom NUW. Several OSCAR members assisted in the peanut gallery each night. We average about 18 participants every night. We look forward to a successful VE session on 04-Mar.

VE Session
The OSCAR VE session is scheduled for 04-Mar. Dennis NRPI has volunteered to pick up the load as the liaison. Walk-ins are welcome and all exam classes will be available. The session will begin ay 7:00 PM at the Owatonna Fire Station. Rumor has it there will be several individuals looking to upgrade.

Elmer Session
OSCAR's first Elmer session was in 2009, and will continue for 2010. The 2010 Elmer session is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Thursday, 18-Mar at the Owatonna Fire Station. The session is open to all hams with a question or problem.

Big Island Rendezvous
The Albert Lea Big Island Rendezvous is in October. Tom KCMTW is looking for operators that would be interested in working at the planned special event station, NR. The operation is scheduled for 24 hours beginning at 07:00 AM on Sat, 02-Oct. If you are interested, contact Tom KCMTW (kc0mtw@arrl.net, Dennis N0RPI (n0rpi@arrl.net), or Ray N0WLN.

Revised Tech Question Pool From Multiple Sources
The new Element 2 Question Pool was released in January to take effect in July. Just like the NFL ... upon further review..., the Question Pool Committee found and corrected more than 50 minor typographical errors and clarified the questions and answers, making them easier to understand. If you previously downloaded the Element 2 questions, you should check to be sure you have the most current set. A review of the new question pool more technical questions than the 2006 question pool.

Mobile Installations From Repeater Builder
With all of the electronic components in cars of recent vintage, be sure to consult the manufacturers recommendations for installing radios. You can download information for Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.

VOA Transmitter Site From AR Newsline
A video of a 1998 tour of Voice of America Transmitter Plant 'A' was uploaded to YouTube. The complete show is 40 minutes long, but is broken down into 5 segments. Use the search words "Tour of Voice of America", "Transmitter Plant", or simply "Voice of America Transmitter". The transmitters go up to 500KW.

Focus Driven From Multiple sources
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and National Safety Council are cooperating in the formation of a new organization to end distracted driving. Focus Driven is modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the group is focusing on the use of cell phones in a vehicle. So far, a ban against texting while driving has been enacted in 19 states plus Washington D.C. and Guam. Six states ban all hand-held devices for any reason while driving. Most but not all do have exclusions for users of two-way business communications and some have extended that exclusion to amateur radio.

Does Your Radio Sneeze? From Wired
The Gesundheit Radio is engineered to sneeze once every six months to clear out dust and keep things running clean and cool. If you think this is German feature, you would be wrong. Good old American ingenuity at Texas Instruments is responsible. The internal bellows blow out the accumulated dust to help increase reliability and life of the equipment.

Coffee Rings and LCDs From New Scientist
Spill coffee and the evaporating liquid drives coffee particles to the edges of the spill - which ultimately produces the circular stain. The coffee granules are driven by varying evaporation and convection rates in the fluid. In LCDs, transparent conductive coatings are used to form an electrode on the surface of the screen. The traditional techniques for making such coatings include "sputtering" a fine layer of indium tin oxide onto the surface. This is an expensive and time consuming process. Researchers are looking at the physics that produce coffee rings to create nanoscale conductive coatings. By adding suitable surfactants and lowering the temperature to 4 C, researchers were able to control the evaporation and convection rates. Gold particles measuring 20 nanometers formed rings and bridges around 75 micrometerlatex spheres.

Nano Generator Georgia Tech
Researchers developed a new type of small-scale electric power generator. It can produce alternating current through the cyclical stretching and releasing of zinc oxide wires encapsulated in a flexible plastic substrate. Because of piezoelectric properties, the zinc oxide material generates a piezoelectric potential when the modules are mechanically stretched and then released. A Schottky barrier controls the alternating flow of electrons. The new generator can produce an oscillating output voltage of up to 45 millivolts, converting nearly seven percent of the mechanical energy applied directly to the zinc oxide wires into electricity.

Paper or Plastic? From Multiple Sources
Scientists have made batteries and supercapacitors with little more than ordinary office paper and some carbon and silver nanomaterials. If you have ever looked closely at paper, you will see it is a tangled matrix of fibers. This structure helps ink adhere to paper, as well as carbon nanotubes and silver nanowire films. By sandwiching a piece of untreated paper between two pieces inked with carbon nanotubes and then placing the layers in an electrolyte solution, researchers made conductive paper that could be bent and rolled. The paper battery could be more efficient, light weight, and sturdier. Earlier research found that silicon nanowires might make batteries 10 times as powerful as lithium-ion batteries. One kilogram could power a 40-watt bulb for an hour.

Mimicking Nature From New Scientist
Sometimes nature provides inspiration for a new way of doing things. We can hear because sound waves make the eardrum vibrate, which creates waves in the fluid-filled inner ear. Hairs on the membrane inside the inner ear are moved by these waves, and because different hairs respond to different frequencies, signals from the hair cells enable the brain to work out the frequency of the sound. Researchers are using this process to model a computer chip that could be used in future RF receivers. RF waves activate a network of transistors that act like hair cells in the ear to reveal the wave's frequency. The ear-based analogue version can process frequencies ranging from 600 megahertz to 8 gigahertz.

CW Texting From AR Newsline
Clique is described as a handheld, thumb-operated communications device. Three keys are used to produce Morse code for sending text messages. One is used for dots, another for dashes and the third that acts as a space-bar between letters. One space-bar tap separates letters while two taps go between words. Toshiba and Intel collaborated on the device and selected CW because it is an easily learned and is ideally suited to the single-digit platform. The Clique is not yet available in the United States, but has been available in Japan since 2008.

Call Signs From Multiple Sources
One of the topics covered in the license class is how call signs are assigned. New call signs are generally issued by the sequential call sign process. We all recognize the use of prefixes beginning with the letters "A", "K", "N", and "W", along with the 10 call sign districts. Do you remember that some patterns of prefixes, call districts, and suffixes are excluded from being issued for various reasons? The exceptions include:

  1. KA2AA-KA9ZZ are reserved for US Army-authorized amateur stations in Japan.
  2. KG4AA-KG4ZZ are reserved for US Navy-authorized amateur stations at Guantanamo Bay.
  3. KL9KAA- KL9KHZ are reserved for assignment to US personnel stationed in Korea.
  4. KC4USA-KC4USZ are reserved for US Navy-authorized amateur stations at their Antarctic bases.
  5. KC4AAA-KC4AAF are reserved for the National Science Foundation's use at the South Pole.
  6. KC6AA-KC6ZZ were the Eastern Caroline Islands and the Western Caroline Islands.
  7. KX6AA-KX6ZZ were the former Marshall Islands.
  8. Any call sign having the letters SOS or QRA-QUZ as the suffix;
  9. Any call sign having the letters AM-AZ as the prefix (these prefixes are assigned to other countries by the ITU);
  10. Any 2-by-3 format call sign having the letter X as the first letter of the suffix;
  11. Any 2-by-3 format call sign having the letters AF, KF, NF, or WF as the prefix and the letters EMA as the suffix (U.S Government FEMA stations);
  12. Any 2-by-3 format call sign having the letters AA-AL as the prefix;
  13. Any 2-by-3 format call sign having the letters NA-NZ as the prefix;
  14. Any 2-by-3 format call sign having the letters WC, WK, WM, WR, or WT as the prefix (Group X call signs);
  15. Any 2-by-3 format call sign having the letters KP, NP or WP as the prefix and the numeral 0, 6, 7, 8 or 9;
  16. Any 2-by-2 format call sign having the letters KP, NP or WP as the prefix and the numeral 0, 6, 7, 8 or 9;
  17. Any 2-by-1 format call sign having the letters KP, NP or WP as the prefix and the numeral 0, 6, 7, 8 or 9;
  18. Call signs having the single letter prefix (K, N or W), a single digit numeral 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and a single letter suffix are reserved for the special event call sign system.