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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 14-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - April, 2Ø1Ø

OSCAR Meeting
The next OSCAR meeting is 10-Apr @ 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 20-Apr @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.

Albert Lea Technician Class
The Albert Lea ARC is again sponsoring a license class. The classes will begin on Saturday, 03-Apr at 12:00 PM. There will be a total of three consecutive Saturday sessions (03-Apr, 10-Apr, and 17-Apr) ending at 5:00 PM. The exam session will begin at 5:00 PM on Sat (17-Apr). The instructor is Tom KCMTW. For more infomration, contact Tom at Kc0mtw@arrl.net.

Technician Class
Many thanks to the instructors and OSCAR membership for supporting the 2010 Technician Class. Instructors included Dale WBPKG, Dennis NRPI, Jeff KCUOW, Dave ACMT, and Tom NUW. OSCAR members "in the peanut gallery" are helpful to offer alternative explanations and clarifications. Work is already beginning on preparing for 2011 and the new question pool.

VE Session
OSCAR had a very succefful VE session, capping off a great Technician Class. All 19 individuals that attempted the Technician exam passed. A great result. OSCAR will reward the new licensees that participated in the OSCAR Tech Class an OSCAR membership for the balance of 2010. Listen for these new licensees:


Upgrades were earned by:

  • David WBGUE - Extra
  • Gregg KDGVR - Extra
  • Marv NFJP - Extra
  • Kathryn WBVAI - General

We all appreciate the work of the Volunteer Examiners led by Dennis NRPI. The VEs included Junior NXP, Dale WBPKG, Deuel NSL, Larry KRK, and Dennis NRPJ.

Elmer Session
The Elmer session on 18-Mar was another great event. About 12 new hams and a few veterans came to "ask the experts". Dale WBPKG, Jeff KCUOW, Matt KAPQW, Dan ACDA, Mike KDDKC, and Tom NUW were just a few of the experts. Topics included propogation, operating QRP, mobile installations, radio selection, and programming. Several of the new hams were able to get on the air at the end of the evening with their new radios. Although a lot of information was shared, there were probably several questions that did not get answered over the course of the evening. This led to a discussion of planning regular Elmer Sessions in the future. Suggestions include a session in June prior to Field Day and another in the fall.

Anyone with a question or problem are welcome to seek help at the monthly OSCAR meeting. The collective wealth of knowledge and experience should be able to help answer just about any question. If you can't make it to a meeting, drop an e-mail to OSCAR and we'll arrange for someone to answer your question or help you out.

Ask Elmer
As an attempt to get common questions answered, the OSCAR web site now includes Ask Elmer. This new page will be updated as questions are asked and submissions made. If you have a question (and answer) to be included, send an e-mail to OSCAR at the adress below. Maybe if there are enough questions on a regular basis we'll can add a new Ask Elmer feature to the newsletter.

Radio Active Sunspot From Space Weather
An amateur astronomer recorded sunspot 1057 this week. It was producing bursts of RF noise around 21 MHz and then generated a long pulse. A recording of the long pulse that saturated radios was posted. The mix of Type III and Type V radio emissions are caused by beams of electrons shooting out of the sunspot into the sun's atmosphere overhead.

Pecuniary Interest (continued) From Multiple Sources
The concern with emergency communications and the potential conflict with communications on bealf of an employer continues. When you read Section 97.113 (Prohibited Communications) of Part 97, there are limited exemptions. After a specific incident raised awareness, the FCC adopted the concept of providing waivers on an individual case-by-case basis. The FCC is now proposing to amend Section 97.113 of the Amateur Service rules to provide that, under certain limited conditions, amateur radio operators may transmit messages during emergency and disaster preparedness drills. Look for WP Docket No. 10-72.

Line 'A'
During the Technician Class, we talked about the fact that Amateur Radio often uses specific frequencies on a secondary basis to another service. Since we are in MN and many people travel to the northern part of the state, it is appropriate to remind everyone about LINE A. A footnote in Section 97.303 of Part 97 states:

No amateur station shall transmit from north of Line A in the 420430 MHz segment.

The FCC definition of LINE A is:

An imaginary line within the U.S., approximately paralleling the U.S.-Canadian border, north of which Commission coordination with the Canadian authorities in the assignment of frequencies is generally required. It begins at Aberdeen, Washington, running by great circle arc to the intersection of 48[deg] N., 120[deg] W., then along parallel 48[deg] N., to the intersection of 95[deg] W., thence by great circle arc through the southernmost point of Duluth, Minnesota, thence by great circle arc to 45[deg] N., 85[deg] W., thence southward along meridian 85[deg] W. to its intersection with parallel 41[deg] N., to its intersection with meridian 82[deg] W., thence by great circle arc through the southernmost point of Bangor, Maine, thence by great circle arc through the southernmost of Searsport, Maine, at which point it terminates.

Chances are this really does not affect anyone visiting the Canadian border. This sub-band is used for Amateur TV, auxiliary links, and experimental modes. It should serve as a reminder to check Part 97 for restriction like this when selecting a frequency to operate on.

Russian Time Zones From Multiple Sources
If you get confused about the time zones and Daylight Savings Time, consider the Russian solution. As part of the DST switch over the last weekend in March, Russia cut the number of its time zones from 11 to 9. Two regions in European Russia and three in Siberia did not move their clocks one hour forward. It appears Russia may go one step further in 2011 by studying whether to abolish daylight savings time.

Passport SK From Pass Band
If you listened to shortwave radio broadcasts, chances are you ran across Passport to World Band Radio. After 25 years of effort, the publication and corresponding Passband web site are going SK. The last issue, the 25th anniversary 2009 edition, might still be available.

Turn The Oven On From Design News
There are lots of examples of how you can control devices using a cell phone. This example, however, can be a little scary. An article in the New York Times demonstrated a cell phone receiving a call turned on the broiler of a Gas oven. A video shows a cell phone sitting on the stove. When a call is placed to the cell phone, the broiler turned on before the cell phone begins to ring.

Sunpots and Toyota? From Detroit Free Press
As several groups attempt to figure out the problems for Toyota, no stone is being unturned. Federal regulators are looking at possible links between sudden acceleration and cosmic rays. Designers and manufacturers of electronic equipment have known for decades about computer errors from radiation created when cosmic rays strike the atmosphere. The result may be software crashes that come and go without a trace. Because cosmic particles cannot be physically blocked, equipment designs may include a combination of software and hardware. One example would be systems that triple-check data.

Incandescent Light Bulbs From PC World
After a 120-year run, Toshiba ended the production of incandescent light bulbs. Inital production rates in 1890 was just 10 bulbs a day. Production peaked at 78 million bulbs in 1973, but dropped to 7 million bulbs in 2009. Worldwide production is expected to decline as regulations come into force banning their sale.

Spectrum Dashboard From FCC
No, this is not another dashboard from Dale WB0PKG. The Spectrum Dashboard allows citizens to search spectrum in the United States. Users can find out how spectrum is being used, who owns spectrum licenses around the country, and what spectrum is available in your county. The initial version is limited to 225 MHz to 3.7 GHz spectrum allocations. potentially usable for mobile broadband.