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Owatonna Steele County Amateur Radio 14-Apr-2017

OSCAR News - January, 2Ø11

CERT Class
The next CERT training class begins 07-Jan. Contact Bonnie at OFD to register. More information is available on the Steele County Emergency Management web page.

OSCAR Meeting
The next OSCAR meeting is 14-Jan @ 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-Jan @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Owatonna Fire Station.

OSCAR Technician class
The 2012 Technician Class is set to begin 14-Feb. Scheduled teachers are Dennis NRPI, Dale WBPKG, Randy KDUNV, Jeff KCUOW, and Tom NUW. As always, we encourage OSCAR members to sit on the classes and heckle the instructors.

OSCAR Officer Elections
The highlight of the December meeting is the election of officers for the coming year:

  • President: Dennis NRPI
  • Secretary: Brian KBDD
  • Treasurer: Mike KDDKC

OSCAR Membership Dues
Memberships run on a calendar year basis. Renewal is $10. Donations are also being accepted to enhance the repeater fund. Also remember that OSCAR can earn a commission on new or renewed ARRL memberships. Contact Mike KDDKC for information.

From Bill KRGR
I'm going to finally start the HF version of our NBEMS net. I've been putting it off, but I found someone who will cover it for me when I'm on vacation next month. Anybody with questions on NBEMS can email me direct at k0rgr@arrl.net.

I plan to use the 80 meter frequency that is used by the SATERN NBEMS nets on other days. We will use 3583.5 KHz USB and the Olivia 16/500 protocol. SATERN usually operates with an audio center frequency of 1 KHz, but I have seen them move +/- for QRM, and I will do likewise. There are CW nets that operate close to this frequency. The time will be 8 p.m. local time on Thursday nights. That's an hour before the VHF net 147.255 for SE MN. Hopefully, this will work for us all.

Pendulum Waves From Dave WBVAK
Harvard students built a device with a series of 15 pendulums in a row, each one slightly longer than its neighbor, then set them in motion and filmed the result. The resulting patterns in this short video are quite fascinating to watch. Read the article before starting to watch the video. While fun to watch, it does provide a visual demonstration of mixing. The pendulums operate at different frequencies and eventually produce a standing wave where all of the pendulums appear to be moving at the same frequency.

60 Meter Band Changes From Multiple Sources
Several changes are being made to the Amateur Radio allocation on 60 meters. This band is available to General Class licenses and higher. The band currently is made up of 5 USB channelized frequencies with a 50 watt power limitation. Some of the changes included in a 18-Nov Report and Order:

  • Substitutes 5357.0 kHz for the current 5366.5 kHz.
  • Permits USB, Data, and RTTY.
  • The maximum allowed effective radiated power is now 100 watts.

The new rules go into effect 30 days after being published in the Federal Register

Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) From Multiple Sources
MDCL is a technology developed for high power AM transmitters in the broadcast industry. As might be inferred by the name, the process involves adjusting the power output of the carrier wave based on the modulation. FCC rules for AM broadcast transmitters currently require a minimum of 90% of the stations nominal license power. The FCC is now allowing waivers for transmitters to drop the carrier level 6dB when using a MDCL technology. The benefit is a 20%-40% reduction in the power bill. Early results suggest the transmitters do not have any significant degradation on audio quality or signal coverage.

Ultrasonic Charging From Multiple Sources
A depleted battery on most battery operated devices involves replacing the battery, plugging in a wall wart, or using an inductive charging technology. uBeam cuts the cord by transferring energy using ultrasonic waves. An emitter is plugged into a power outlet. The device to be recharged is plugged into a receiver.

Cell Phone Radiation Increases Brain Activity From Multiple Sources
The October Newsletter reported on the effect cell phone radiation may have on bees. One study now suggests that it may make the brain burn more energy. Cell phones were attached to each side of a subject's head. One phone was active and the other turned off. PET scans found a higher level of metabolism on the side with the active cell phone, indicating a higher level of energy being used by the brain. The researchers did not indicate what the observed results actually suggest.

Solar Panel Film From Multiple Sources
3M has developed a see-through film to convert ordinary windows into solar panels. The organic photovoltaic material is printed on sheets. The film blocks or absorbs about 80 percent of visible light and over 90 percent of infrared light. A square meter of the material can generate about 5 volts at 7 watts under peak conditions, about 20% of what a similar sized silicon solar panel might produce. The film is expected to be commercially available in 2012.

SpaceEx Shadow From Multiple Sources
Space scientists are looking at a new propulsion method called electric thrusters (ET). One negative of the technology is highly ionized exhaust plumes of ET may scatter RF-signals producing large "dead" zone for communications. The Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TSNIIMASH) is looking for Amateur Radio operators to participate in determining the size and shape of what the "dead zone" might be. Additional information can be found at Shadow-Beacon web page. Unfortunately, the registrtaion link takes you to a page written in Russian. Other pages, however, include a listing of participants and some of the results so far.

The project is currently on hold until May or June. A radio on the International Space Station (ISS) needs to be replaced with a new one. A new radio is delivered to the ISS in April.

Corroded Battery Contacts From Radio World
Every so often we may open up a battery operated device to change them and find a big mess of white crystaline substance. After removing most of the corrosion by other methods, use a paste made up of baking soda and distilled water to finish the job. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the contacts with the paste. Rinse the toothbrush with the distilled water and scrub again to remove the baking soda paste. Be sure to let the contacts completly before reinstalling new batteries.

Tree Power From AR Newsline
Imagine being able to run a QRP station by powering it from a near-by tree. Well that's one of the possible uses for an emerging technology called tree power. A voltage difference exits between a tree and the ground. Researchers found the metabolism of a tree works to maintain the voltage difference, whether it's day or night, rain or shine all year round. Up to two volts is available, enough to trickle-charge a battery or power a wireless transmitter. How about a self-illuminated Christmas tree?.

Graphene Trampoline From Multiple Sources
If a graphene sheet is stretched between two electrodes, it could vibrate due to any applied voltage signal. Place an electrode in the middle, and the amount of vibration could be measured by the change in capacitance. Unfortunately, the process has been demonstrated to work at -300F.