Home Page
Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 14-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - September, 2Ø11

OSCAR Meeting
The next OSCAR meeting is 10-Sep @ 9:00 AM, the second Saturday of the month. Meetings are held in the meeting room at the Owatonna HyVee, 18th Street @ Oak Avenue.

Note: The October OSCAR meeting will be held at the Owatonna Fire Station.

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

MS Twin Cities Mud Run From Dean NHOY
The MS Society is seeking volunteers (and of course participants) for the 2011 MS Twin Cities Mud Run. The event last year was quite incredible with 400 expected participants and over 1600 that participated!! This years number of participants is expected to be even larger.

The greatest need is for volunteers to help on the course from 7:30 am 4:30 pm on Saturday, September 10 at Trollhaugen Ski Resort in Dresser, WI. There are also shorter shifts available for positions at the start/finish area for people who cant be there all day (helping with things like serving food and parking). Please contact Will Ziegenhagen at the MS Society, 612-335-7992 for more details if you are able to volunteer.

Fox Hunt Challenge From Ron K3PID
The SARA Fox Hunt mentioned in the August Newsletter was rescheduled to 17-Sep. There was a last minute cancellation of the original 20-Aug date. Additional information can be viewed at SARA web site. You can register by sending an email to register@radioham.org. Include the name and call of the team leader, a name for the team (optional), and the number of team members you expect to participate. This is just to give us an idea of how many maps and donuts we will need.

Mankato Marathon From Paul KDKRX
The Mankato Area Radio Club is providing amateur radio communications for the 2nd annual Mankato Marathon. The Marathon on Saturday, October 22 will fill at 5,000 runners. The marathon is a qualifer for the Boston Marathon. We are looking for looking for volunteers to work field stations providing radio communications for this event. All that is required is a hand held radio for 2 meter and a licensed ham. If you are interested in helping, contact Paul Spevacek, KDKRX for an assignment. 507-387-5837 prospivy@yahoo.com

OSCAR License Class
The Technician License Class is now scheduled to begin on 14-Feb-2012. The same format will be used as previous years. Six classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights, one review night, and the VE Session on 08-Mar. Dale WBPKG and Tom NUW will be the lead instructors, with the excellent support from several OSCAR members. Anyone that has an interest can send a note to OSCAR for e-mail notifications.

Grant Nelson Sr. died on 21-Aug at the age of 85. Memorials are preferred to Homestead Hospice House in Owatonna.

A new addition to the web site is the OSCAR Store. The store contains several offerings from Court Sports and Sign Pro.

OSCAR Repeater
About a year ago, changes were made at the repeater site to minimize interference between the users. All of the users at the site orignally had individual antennas at the top of the tower. All of the users were shifted to one RX antenna at the top of the tower. Users were also shifted to a single TX antenna on the south side of the tower. Unfortunately, this produced a large attenuation in the TX signal for the .49 machine to the north. Donations from Whitewater Wireless, Steele County Emergency Management, and a consulting company provided a solution in mid-August. We thank them for their time and considerations. The .49 machine TX was returned to the top of the tower, eliminating the shadow.

We are still working on evaluating all of the changes. Dale WBPKG and Tom NUW visitied the site on 30-Aug. Dale spent about 3-1/2 hours working on a problem and making some general adjustments to the repeater.

I have told some of you about the APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) unit that I have been working on. It is now up, running and working. Here is a link that you can use to see where Im at:

If that link doesnt work, use www.aprs.fi and type in kb0rxr in the Track callsign box and click search area on the right side of the page. Please email me (kb0rxr1@gmail.com) if anyone has any problems or the system doesnt seem to be working. Thanks.

Heahtkit From Multiple Sources
Heathkit announced it will again offer do-it-yourself kits. First on the list of products is a Garage Parking Assistant. Next on the market will be a Wireless Swimming Pool Monitor kit. Heathkit invites everyone to submit ideas on what future kit projects might be.

US Based VOA From Multiple Sources
North Carolina Public Television posted a story on YouTube about the Voice of America (VOA) station near Greeneville, NC. This is the last VOA transmitter operating in the continental US.

Barge Based Generators From Multiple Sources
New ideas on how to generate electricity seem to be a daily news item. Ocean based wave power technologies have a disadvantage of requiring long cables to bring the electricity to shore. The devices also need to be protected from hazards and storms. One concept is to utilize barges with batteries to generate and store store the electricity. The barge would be towed back to shore to feed the grid. The barges could also be moved to a safe harbor if storms threatened them.

Radio Plasma From Multiple Sources
Anyone that has followed the descent of a space vehicle returning to earth recognizes there is a period of time when communications is lost. A plasma forms when the vehicle enters the atmosphere. Communications are blocked becasue the antenna cannot be located outside of the plasma. The plasma absorbs electromagnetic energy near what is called the plasma frequency and reflects others. Researchers believe they can use the plasma as an antenna. If signals from earth are modulated inside the plasma, they may be able to be decoded by looking at the reflection of signals transmitted from the space vehicle into the plasma.

But what if you were able to use plasma as an antenna? The Plasma Silicon Antenna (PSiAN), generates a cloud of electrons. Diodes on a silcon chip generates an electron cloud with enough density to reflect radio waves. Radio waves between 1 GHz and 100 GHz can be reflected in a specific direction by activating patterns of diodes.