OSCAR News - August, 2Ø1Ø
The next OSCAR meeting is 14-Aug @ 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 17-Aug @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
The OSCAR Archives now has pictures from Field Day.
Dennis NØRPI and Matt KAØPQW was featured on the cable program Owatonna Today. The program was taped on 19-Jul and aired on 26-Jul. The video can be seen on Blip TV. Search for Owatonna Today. The video is normally available for a couple of weeks after the first airing.
Steele County Free Fair
Over the past several years, the police, fire, and ambulance groups set up displays in "Safety Alley". This year, the Community Center will house all of the public service and volunteer groups. Amateur Radio, SKYWARN, and CERT are being offered tables to set up displays and operate radios from. Dennis N0RPI is leading the charge on arranging displays and a volunteer schedule. Please let Dennis know your ideas and ability to staff the display.
Ben KØBLR has been appointed the Minnesota ARESMAT EC. ARESMAT stands for Amateur Emergency Services Mutual Assistance Team. This group will go into affected area where there is no formal county ARES program. Ben is looking for interested personnel who would like to Join Minnesota ARESMAT. Volunteers should have completed ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-300, ICS-700, ICS-800, and ARREC Level 1. Most of the ICS courses can be taken on line for free. The ICS-300 is a three day classroom course that can be taken for free from
MN Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The
ARREC Level 1 is a 25-hour course and costs $50 for ARRL members. This training provides a rapid response team made up of the most highly skilled, highly motivated, radio operators from around the state.
For more information on ARESMAT, contact Ben KØBLR at 320-333-9324 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about the training requirements, Tom NØUW has completed them all.
One final note, anyone planning to be part of an emergency response should complete ICS-100 and ICS-700. This is valuable background information that may help you understand what might be happening around you. Please let Tom NØUW know what ICS and ARRL training you have completed.
The FCC issued a Report and Order (R&O) expanding the exception for employees operating an amateur radio station during a drill. The FCC previously required an agency to make a waiver request for each drill. The new rules will eliminate the need to apply for a waiver. There are different rules, however, for a drill sponsored by a government agency and a non-governmental agency.
Blame It on the Sun
From New Scientist
The April Newsletter included a note that solar storms were being looked at as a possible cause for the Toyota acceleration problems. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), can disturb Earth's magnetic field. Modest solar activity pose a threat in our technology-dependent world. Power transmission lines act like giant antennas, picking up those disturbances. Acceleration in the development of rust in oil pipelines can also occur. Relatively minor space storms between 2000 and 2005 caused railway signals to malfunction in Russia. It would take a truly massive space storm to cause a catastrophe, but scientists are questioning if the repetitive low intensity storms are having a more long term effect.
The Making of An LP
From AR Newsline
A two-part video is available on YouTube telling the story of the making of a 33-1/3 RPM
"Long Play" or "LP" vinyl record. The Sound and the Story begins with the process of making a recording on tape. It continues showing complex methods used in crafting the record "master" and the process of stamping the platters.
The two parts total approximately 24 minutes.
From Scienced Daily
The advantages of small components in a dense arrangement are faster speeds and reduced energy consumption. Unfortunately, they become more prone to interference as the resulting signal-to-noise ratios increase. To help improve circuit design, researchers developed a measuring system that can locate even the weakest electrical and magnetic fields to an accuracy of a few hundredths of a millimeter. A near-field scanner provides images of the radiated fields of the card.
From Technology Review
Can't teach an old dog new tricks? How about using old tricks and a new dog? Data speeds are limited in copper wires by the laws of physics. By using a technique originally developed in 1886, DSL speeds could be boosted to rival fiber optics. The technique involves sending digital data over two twisted pairs and adding a third signal on top of the four wires. The negative part of the phantom connection goes down one pair, and the positive part travels down the other pair. Analog processors sort out the two real signals and one phantom signal at the wires' final destination.
From PC World
Researchers discovered that sheets of carbon nanotubes can be used to create audible sounds when heated with infrared lasers. Carbon nanotube sheets are extremely thin, light and almost transparent. Without any moving parts, the sheets can be concealed and attached to different types of surfaces.
The December Newsletter included an article on flexible antennas and the European Space Agency. North Carolina State University has also been working on flexible antennas by looking at a new combination of alloys. The alternatives to copper could produce antennas can be bent, stretched, cut and twisted and then return to the original shape. The new material is achieved by injecting an alloy of the metals gallium and indium into very small channels. The metals are in a liquid state at room temperature, but form a skin due to oxidization. The skin holds the material in place as the structure flexes.
Electricty by Tree Leaves
From New Scientist
Tree leaves natural lose moisture through evaporation. This action pulls moisture from the ground to the top of the trees. Engineers are looking at this natural process to develop a new type of water pump. Glass wafers contain a network of tiny channels arranged like the veins of a leaf. The channels are filled with water and are open at the top to allow evaporation. Placing the glass wafer between two metal plates fabricate a capacitor. A change in capacitance, and an electrical current. is caused by interrupting the water flow with air bubbles.
Plastic Solar Cells
From Multiple Sources
One expensive compound used in the manufacture of solar panels is indium tin oxide (ITO). The use of plastic in the manufacture of solar cells could reduce their cost. One problem with using conductive plastics as an alternative has been the loss of conductivity. When polymers are molded into a rigid form, they also lose some of the ability to conduct electricity. The difficulty has been forming an efficient structure. Researchers are looking at forming bubbles and channels, roughly 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, to transform 10 percent of the available sunlight into electricity. Other researchers are looking to relax the structure of the plastic, with a goal of applying the material with a method similar to an ink jet printer.
Emergency Broadcast System
From Multiple Sources
"This is a test ..." The Emergency Broadcasting System (EBS) was established in 1963, partly as a result of the Cuban missile incident. Over 85% of the 20,000 emergency alerts have been weather related. The combined 853 Hz and 960 Hz tones were selected to be offensive to the human ear. Weekly and monthly tests are required by participating television and radio outlets. During even months of the year, the weekly tests occur at random from 8:30 AM to sunset. On odd months of the year, the weekly test occurs between sunset and 8:30 AM.
Time to see how old you are. This infamous call sign was used by Herman Munster. You can listen to Herman
call CQ and
talk to Mars.
YouTube also has several clips.