OSCAR News - June, 2Ø1Ø
The next OSCAR meeting is 12-Jun @ 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 15-Jun @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
RACES/OSCAR Field Day
Don't forget to come on down to the Field Day site on Saturday 26-Jun. As the event gets closer, be sure to check the Field Day Page. Anyone and everyone is invited to visit.
The repeater site will undergo some hardware changes in early June. The repeater site also has other public service and business band installations. Changes primarily in the antenna arrangement are intended to eliminate interference between users. OSCAR should benefit by the eliminating the overload the repeater experiences from the Owatonna Bus Company. There will be some minor outages of the 145.490 repeater while the equipment is switched over.
Wenger Band Contest
OSCAR members may be asked to assist at the 1st
Annual Herry Wenger Marching Band Festival. It looks like 12 bands will be featured in a parade on 19-Jun at 11:00AM. Details are a being worked out. If possible, please make an allowance in your schedule to assit that day.
Viking ARS is asking for assistance from OSCAR to assist in the
Waseca Triathlon. All segments of the race start and end at Clear Lake Park, with the first race beginning at 7:30AM on 01-Aug. About 14 operators to provide communications for the bike race. If you are able to help, contact Jon WBØZFH: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In The News
From Peoples Press
Rienard KDØKSB earned his Technician license this year. He was featured on the
OPP front page after celebrating his 95th birthday flying around Southern MN. One of the individuals sharing the experience was Dave KDØKSC, who participated with Rienard in the OSCAR class this year.
Most individuals that requested badges had new badges available at the May meeting. The new badges are designed to be used by SKYWARN, CERT, and RACES. The new badges have a yellow area at the bottom indicating what groups you are part of and have an expiration date on the back. The logo for the primary group you belong to is at the top. You must turn in any badges you were previously issued before getting a new one. We are also asking volunteers to sign a "Hold Harmless" document. This is to help ensure volunteers understand risks and protections.
If you indicated SKYWARN as your primary organization, Dave P has your badge. If you indicated CERT as your primary organization, Shirley W has your badge. If you indicated RACES as your primary organization, Tom K has your badge. Older badges do not have the yellow area at the bottom and do not have an expiration date on the back. All older badges will be replaced in the near future.
A video of the new Kenwood TS-590S at Dayton can be viewed on
YouTube. I believe the Kenwood rep. says first IF at 11 MHz, down conversion type. Both 2.8kHz and 500Hz roofing filter etc.
OPD Live Feed
A live feed of the Owatonna Police Dispatch is available on the internet. You can hear what may or may not be happening. Click on the speaker icon under the word listen – you must allow pop ups for the site since an external player will bring the audio player.
The code requirement for Amateur Radio was dropped in 1991. The Tech-Plus license was created in 1994 to recognize Techician licensees that passed the Morse Code requirement. With the last round of license class changes, renewal of Tech-Plus was eliminated. Anyone renewing a Tech-Plus license would be reclassified as a Technician. The last Tech-Plus license grant will expire in mid-June.
Question Pool Changes
From Multiple Sources
The Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) withdrew two questions from the Technician class pool and two questions from the Extra class pool. The questions (T2C02 and T2C03) in the Technician pool relate to disaster drills. The Extra Class questions (E1C04 and
E1C05) dealt with third party restrictions that are no longer applicable to the Amateur Service.
The ARRL offers several newsletters for members. The League advises to check your Member Options if you suddenly are not getting newsletters.
RF Exclusion Zones
From Australian Communications and Media Authority
Amateur Radio operators need to be familiar with the FCC OET Bulletin 65. For most applications, the calculation of RF exposure can be accomplished through charts and moderate calculations. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has an
online tool that will allow users to calculate exclusion zones around antennas where radiation levels exceed safety standard limits. It provides a three dimensional image of exclusion zones around commonly used antennas at particular transmitter power levels. A booklet is also available
that explains the EME health exposure regulatory arrangements and how they apply to licensees of radiocommunications transmitters. Keep in mind, however, the information presented is for Australia.
World Wide Radio Operator's Foundation
The World Wide Radio Operator's Foundation was officially launched on 16-Apr. The group's mission statement is:
"Dedicated to improving the skills of amateur radio operators around the world, utilizing education, competition, advancement of technology and scientific research, promoting international friendship and goodwill, and preparing them to better serve society in times of communication need."
WWROF is a non-profit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) status pending. The group has a wide range of programs it plans to support as it develops.
From Radio World
Part of the license class topics is RF Safety and exposure limits. Of course, the basic rule we teach is to be sure the radio equipment is turned off and unplugged while you are working on it.
In the commercial world, sometimes workng on live equipment is a necessity. We know that the electrical field is proportional to the proximity of the radiator, the closer you are to the radiator, the higher the electrical field. When a climber is on an energized tower, the current driven into the climber’s hands and feet is a result of the radial electrical field surrounding the tower. The power density is highest in the wrist and ankle because these are the areas with the smallest cross section. If your backside hangs out from the tower, the measured current in your wrists and ankles will be higher. A whole list of other considerations must also be taken into account.
From ARRL Contest Update
When using feed line that isn't 50-ohms, using integral multiples of half-wavelengths of the feed line will repeat the impedance from one end to the other. So if you connect 75-ohm hardline or coax to a 50-ohm load, a radio will see a 50-ohm match every half-wavelength along the line. This allows you to use the widely available and cheap low-loss RG-6 designed for TV and video use without creating an impedance mismatch. One caveat, this will only work on a single band or on bands that are harmonically related, such as 144 and 432 MHz or 14 and 28 MHz.
From AR Newsline
Most people arer used to flourescent lights flickering when the bulbs are on. Like all light sources, the bulbs emit a wide range of wavelengths. Cable customers in the UK are discovering the flickering low-energy bulbs are emitting enough infrared energy to flip the channels on television sets. This phenomenom does not appear to occur in North America, possibly because the US operates with 60 Hz AC rather than the 50 Hz in the UK.
From New Scientist
The sun routinely produces clouds of plasma and sends them towards earth. These solar storms distort the magnetic field around the earth. When the magnetic field returns to its normal shape, auroras are created. A side effect is that satellites and power grids on the ground can be harmed. A research team used a network of cameras and magnetic instruments at ground stations scattered across Canada to observe the onset of a space storm in 2007. The saw magnetic ripples in the ionosphere spreading at speeds exceeding 100,000 kilometres per hour. A strong auroral display, characteristic of a space storm, followed less than three minutes later. The observation may help predict future storms, perhaps allowing precautionary steps to be taken to minimize any damage.
Hairy Solar Cells
From Daily Mail
A teen from rural Nepal may have an alternative to silicon based solar cells. Melanin is a pigment that gives hair its color. It acts a a type of conductor and is light sensitive. The prototype solar cell of hair cost $38 to make and produces 18 watts of energy at 9VDC.
From NASA Tech Briefs
For decades, engineers have largely accepted a theoretical model of the transistor, called the elastic tunneling model, that identifies material defects that can divert the flow of electricity and cause a device to malfunction. The theory predicts that as transistors shrink, the fluctuations should correspondingly increase in frequency. Engineers discovered a flaw in the model showing that even in nanometer-sized transistors, the fluctuation frequency remains the same. The findings have implications for the low-power transistors used in the latest high-tech consumer technology, cell phones and pacemakers. Back to the drawing board as the researchers try to understand the cause of transistor noise.
Cellphone Traffic Maps
From New Scientist
Researchers at Nokia and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a system that collects GPS data from mobile phones in moving vehicles and uses it to create traffic maps. The maps are available on the internet or sent to your cellphone to provide local traffic analysis. Researchers suggest if enough people download the
free software, the system should help relieve congestion, even on small intercity roads. The system anonymises GPS data so that it will be impossible to track individual cars.