OSCAR News - November, 2Ø1Ø
The next OSCAR meeting is 13-Nov @ 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-Nov @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.
Owatonna Scanner Update
Mike KBØRXR reports he embedded the Owatonna Scanner broadcast into his webpage making it easier for listeners to hear what’s happening here in Owatonna.
"We’re hoping this may make things easier if another emergency situation happens again for listeners from outside the area to follow the events in the area. Let the page load, and if you get any warnings, don’t worry. THE PAGE IS SAFE! You may want to turn down the volume from the player. I have no way to lower the volume from my end. That is on RadioReferrence.com side. Feel free to contact me if you find any problems or have suggestions."
From Viking ARS
The Viking ARS will be offering a class for the General Class upgrade license starting Thursday, Janurary 20th at 7:30 through Thursday, April 14th at the Waseca County EOC. A Testing Session will be held on April 16th running from 9:00am through 12:00 (noon). The ARRL General License Book will be used. Contact Reg Cass at 507-835-2644 for more information.
Public Service Upgrade
The Wood County (OH) Sheriff's Office received some assistance from the AmateurRadio community to upgrade their communications network. A WUPW story indicates that Amateur Radio operators suggested a relocation of antennas to higher elevations. In-car repeaters were also added. A great example of the Amateur Radio expertise in communications being put to a good use for the benefit of the community.
Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act
From Multiple Sources
Most people recognize the sudio level of commercials on television are routinely greater than the normal broadcast. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) seeks to correct the problem by requiring television stations and
cable companies to keep commercials at the same audio level as the programs they interrupt. Similar bills passed both the Senate and House, but require minor differences to be worked out. It could be another two years before the new regulations take effect.
New Amateur Allocation Proposal
From Multiple Sources
The United States is supporting a new Amateur Radio allocation to be presented at the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference. The proposal provides Amateur Radio allocations on a secondary basis at 461kHz to 469 kHz and 471kHz to 478kHz. The proposal is expected to have opponents, primarilly from the maritime industry.
Sun Spot Forecasts
From Multiple Sources
The current solar cycle continues to perplex scientists, and every scientific group seems to have a different opinion. One group concludes that the magnetic field that generates sun spots has been declining over the past 20 years. Their forecast is that sun spots may disappear by 2016 and not reappear for decades.
Another analysis suggests the long delay in sun spots might be caused by the path plasma circulates between the Sun's equator and poles. Plasma flows toward the poles on the surface, sinks, returns to the equator below the surface, and comes back up. The path length for the flow appears to have been much longer than before. Since the path was longer, the trip took longer to complete.
Then there is the group predicting the solar max could be significantly higher than the peak in he previous cycle. The concern is that the peak could be strong enough to cause severe a severe disruption in communication and electrical infrstructure. Like most other forecasts, individuals also suggest the complete opposite, the solar maximum will be fairly low.
Just like the weather, we'll just have to wait and work on enjoying our hobby while the getting is good.
Iridium is probably best known as the constellation of satellites circling the earth, originally launched for satellite telephone communications. The satellites are being pressed into service to help monitor the immediate space environment of Earth. The Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE) collects atmoshperic data to produce a real-time map of the Earth's magnetic field.
This video explains more about the project.
From Canadian Space Agency
We have the very rare opportunity to view aurora borealis displays. In addition to monitoring the
Aurora Oval on the Propagation Page, we can now watch the show. Canadian Space Agency has a live webcam in Yellowknife called AuroraMax. It shows a 180-degree view of the sky from dusk to dawn.
Batteries Not Required
From Radio World
Have you ever pulled radio signals out of thin air with a crytal radio? A lot of effort is being given to eliminate the need for a power source in many wireless applications, such as sensors. A "wake-up" receiver operating in the 1-2 GHz range consumes 51 microwatts. The ultra-low power radio uses "digital OOK modulation" to achieve high sensitivity. "OOK" stands for "on–off keying". This allows the receiver to achieve a sensitivity of -75 dBm at 915 MHz or -64 dBm at 2.4 GHz. I think the amateur radio operators would usually refer "OOK" to as "CW."
High Efficienct Solar Cells
From AR Newsline
By mechanically stacking solar cells, a group of researchers hope to bring solar cells to a new level of efficiency. The solar cells in each stack are tuned to have peak absorption at different parts of the solar spectrum. Similar to color film, the upper layers are transparent to the wavelengths to be absorbed by the lower layers. A solar cell with an efficiency of 40% is expected.
From NASA Tech Briefs
A new non-volatile memory technique was developed using electrically-variable resistance. Colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) is a property enabling materials to dramatically change their electrical resistance in the presence of a magnetic field. The devices made of thin films of certain oxides exploit this phenomenon. Data are written or read using larger or smaller current pulses, respectively.
Radio Hams Video
It is interesting to look back into the history of Amateur Radio. This 10 minute long
YouTube video takes us back to 1939. Pete Smith produced more than 150 short black-and-white movies.