Olympia Amateur Radio Society

ARRL Special Service ClubWatts News

Monthly Newsletter of the

Olympia Amateur Radio Society

P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507

  April 2008
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

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From the Oval ShackPresident's Message

Greetings Y'all (...as stolen from Jeff Foxworthy) -

Today I had the privilege of "helping" out at the Multiple Sclerosis Lifelines walk. I had received an email about this some time back, but due to its date and the fact my children were out of school this week for Spring break, I did not know if my schedule would allow my participation. Thursday, April 10, I received an email from Ken [K7VOX], in which he indicated he needed people and since I had not been notified by the powers that be (wife and daughters) of any events for them, I told Ken I would be there. At this point, I went out to the shed at the end of our driveway and discovered that no one had stolen my cheap, made in China, garage sale bicycle and that it appeared to function adequately. I made certain I had my HTs charged and functional, then loaded the bike and radios in my Suburban. My only concern then was waking up in time to get to the school where the walk started and ended.

In the first sentence, I noted "helping" with quotation marks. This is because while people thanked me for helping, I still wonder what I really did. I arrived, signed in, put on a T shirt proclaiming me a volunteer, and basically rode alongside Ken from one end of the path to the other, then after waiting at the other end for a while, we rode back to the starting point. On the way back we did ask people if they were alright, since they were pretty far back from the pack, but they all indicated no problems. Steve [WC7I] took his jeep to the end point and made certain the people knew to turn around at that point, as well as maybe testing the water and jerky that was distributed there. Mark [KE7JTU] , our Member at Large remained at the starting point and basically schmoozed people and went for or sent for the answers to any questions we sent back to him. While riding, Ken did most of the communicating over the radio, so I just rode along and chatted with Ken. For all of this exhausting work, they fed me a meal of "Oh Boy! Oberto" (Registered Trademark, etc) sausages, chips, and an apple or two (actually three), let me keep the shirt, and thanked me for helping out. Maybe I should look into doing more volunteer opportunities as an amateur radio operator. Anyhow, this disjointed note hopefully will inspire some to consider volunteering as Hams since there are some tasks we can do that might be difficult to accomplish by other means. We can also make people aware of what we are and perhaps what we can do -- goodwill and whatnot. This note is simply to let you all know of my enjoyment, and perhaps to make others think about volunteering. I do realize many people have other obligations which do not allow them to help out and have no objection to that, but on the other hand, if one is just going to goof off, like I probably would have done, it is something else to do.

My thanks go to Ken for letting me know of the opportunity (and reminding me because I had forgotten) and to Steve and Mark for their participation as well.

73, Klaus [AC7MG]

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OARS Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Olympia Amateur Radio Society meeting of March 26, 2008:

Meeting at the Thurston County EOC was called to order at 1909 hours by President Klaus Neubert, AC7MG.

Those attending provided their names and call signs to the group.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and accepted.

Ken, K7VOX gave a brief history of the Internet and a handout detailing various internet links that pertain to amateur radio. He then discussed these links and their value to the subject.

The next meeting will include a presentation by Jim Pace, K7CEX, the present ARRL NW Washington Section Manager. The May meeting will be a presentation on antennas by Steve Ward, WC7I.

Meeting was adjourned at 2047 hours.

-- Paul Taylor, KC7LA

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Sideband Question


This week, ARRL Letter readers are in luck! The ARRL's very own Doctor, author of the popular QST column "The Doctor Is IN," answers a question from his mailbag:

Question -- Jeff Otto, WA1QYW, of Framingham, Massachusetts, asks: I have a new SSB transceiver, and I noticed something peculiar. When I tune to an empty frequency, say on 20 meters, with absolutely no signals and only noise, and I switch the mode between USB and LSB, the received "tone" of the background noise changes. On one position, it sounds like it consists of more high frequency components, and on the other position it sounds like more low frequency components. I would have thought that white noise would sound the same, regardless of which sideband is being received. In normal SSB operation, this effect is not really noticed. I'm wondering if there is some sort of a misalignment in the radio.

The Doctor Answers: Jeff, I agree with your diagnosis. Switching between USB and LSB switches the "BFO" or injected carrier frequency from one side of the SSB filter bandwidth to the other. There are a few exceptions, notably the early RL Drake tube transceivers that kept the same BFO frequency but switched the filters. Switching the BFO frequency is generally cheaper than having two filters.

There are two possibilities: One, that the shape of the filter passband is not flat. If it's higher on one side than the other, that will translate to stronger high frequency response on one sideband and stronger low on the other.

The other, and I would say more likely, possibility is that the BFO oscillators are not spaced the same distance from the edge of filter bandwidth. In one case you might have (with a 2.1 kHz filter, for example) with 200 Hz offset, an audio response from 200 to 2300 Hz, while the other sideband if spaced 400 Hz will have a response from 400 Hz to 2500 Hz. The usual design response is from 300 Hz to 300 + the filter bandwidth.

You can test this by using a good low-level audio generator in the microphone input (set to the same level as the mic audio), and checking the response at the audio monitor jack, if your radio has one. You could also check with another receiver, but unless it is very wideband, you would really be measuring the combination of offsets and filters in both radios.

If your transceiver has a PASSBAND TUNING or IF SHIFT control, you can move it to make the receive audio sound the same on either sideband, but that won't help on the transmit side. If it's not very different, and if you get good audio reports on both sidebands, you could also just pretend you hadn't noticed!

-- from The ARRL Letter

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Regulations for the Operation of Aircraft

January, 1920

1. Don't take the machine into the air unless you are satisfied it will fly.

2. Never leave the ground with the motor leaking.

3. Riding on the steps, wings, or tail of a machine is prohibited.

4. In case the engine fails on takeoff, land straight ahead regardless of obstacles.

5. No machine must taxi faster than a man can walk.

6. Learn to gauge altitude, especially on landing.

7. Before you begin a landing glide, see that no machines are under you.

8. Hedge-hopping will not be tolerated.

9. No spins or back or tail slides will be indulged in as they unnecessarily strain the machine.

10. Don't attempt to force machine onto ground with more than flying speed. The result is bouncing and ricocheting.

11. Pilots will not wear spurs while flying.

12. If an emergency occurs while flying, land as soon as possible.

Taken from a flyer sent out by the AOPA ASF advertising their seminar

-- Thanks to Klaus, AC7MG

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Treasurer's Report

As of 3/31/08

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,642.48

            Income               275.32

            Expenses             205.52

        Ending balance         1,712.28

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,010.87

            Income                 2.58

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,013.42

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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OARS Net check-ins

The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net on March 18:


Net control station reporting for the month was Steve Ward, WC7I. Thank you for your support!!

The net meets at 7:30 every Tuesday evening on the 3 linked OARS repeaters: 147.36, 224.46, and 441.40 MHz. All Hams are invited to check in.

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OARS Nominated for Special Recognition

Section Manager's Report

The 2008 Communications Academy was a great success. Many praises and thanks should go out to Marina and the great staff that made sure the 10th annual event went off without a hitch.

Although they were not in attendance, Harry and Mary Lewis were awarded the ARRL Public Service Commendation, for their many years of service to the Ham Radio Community in WWa Section.

Three clubs were nominated by the SM for special recognition by ARRL HQ. They were:

Olympia Amateur Radio Society, Clark County Amateur Radio Club and Pacific County Amateur Radio Club. These clubs were selected for their efforts in recruiting, training and licensing new Hams, and their commitment to serve their communities.

Gary Fell, KD7MWL the EC for Jefferson County was honored for his efforts to get 60 citizens of Jefferson County, licensed as Amateur Radio Operators, this past year.

The SM had a great time and is looking forward to next year.

73 and good Hamming to all

Western Washington Section Manager: James Pace, K7CEX


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Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day 2008

ARMAD 2008 is approaching. ARMAD is Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day.

It is an event that allows the people from our communities to give messages of support and appreciation to our Troops, Veterans, Military Retired, and First Responders over Amateur Radio.

ARMAD is always held on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. In 2008 it falls on May 24TH. It is a Special Event, and can be an individual effort, or the joint effort of your local Amateur Radio Club. The main goal of ARMAD is to generate publicity for our hobby while providing a great public service to our local communities, our military members; and their families.

ARMAD also encourages Military Support Groups, and Veterans organizations to be involved in the event. It can be a small event or a community affair with as much activity such as entertainment, speakers, and other participation as each ARMAD location or individual venue wants to organize.

ARMAD was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and we have a full program, bands, children's activities, displays, Soldiers, and First Responders on location to give the people that attend something to do while also learning about Amateur Radio. We encourage third party QSO'S, and the passing of traffic during the event.

Although the main event is held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, we invite all Amateur Radio Operators Worldwide to participate. We operate on HF, VHF, PSK31, VOIP, and APRS. It is up to each individual or club how they run the event, and what modes they use. We encourage each location to QSO each other, and to check in with the host Station in Fort Wayne. ARMAD has no operating rules and is meant to be a fun event that gives the people of our communities a chance to see our hobby at work, and also gives the public hands on experience with the hobby.

A list of the main operating modes and frequencies are listed at http://www.armad.net/eventinfo.htm. However you may operate anywhere in the ham bands. The ARMAD web page can be found at www.armad.net

How do you get involved with ARMAD? Mainly by just getting on the air and calling CQ ARMAD. This can be done as an individual at home, mobile, or as an Amateur Radio Club effort. We invite you to check in with the host ARMAD location in Fort Wayne, and with other stations that are involved on air during the event. We encourage you to set up at public venues, such as parks, VA Hospitals, Military Bases or other Memorial Day Events. We have found out that people like the idea of helping to support those that serve our Country, and want to learn more about Amateur Radio.

Why participate in ARMAD? ARMAD helps us promote Amateur Radio to the general public. It also provides a public service that is for a good cause. Our Troops, and Veterans need our support. Many of them are serving as Reserves or in the National Guard so they have a unique connection to our communities. Many are our sons, daughters, relatives, and neighbors. Many of our States have large numbers of these men and women deployed. ARMAD gives us, and the people of our communities, a way to share messages of support and gives military families a chance to see that support in action.

Let's "Ham It Up For The Troops" this Memorial Day Weekend. Fill the bands with positive messages of thanks and appreciation for those that sacrifice to keep this nation free.

ARMAD also includes all Coalition Forces.

-- Western Washington Section Manager: James Pace, K7CEX


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Alternate Definitions

The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

  1. Coffee, n., the person upon whom one coughs.
  2. Flabbergasted, adj., appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
  3. Abdicate, v., to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. Esplanade, v., to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  5. Willy-nilly, adj., impotent.
  6. Negligent, adj., absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
  7. Lymph, v., to walk with a lisp.
  8. Gargoyle, n., olive-flavored mouthwash.
  9. Flatulence, n., emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
  10. Balderdash, n., a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. Testicle, n., a humorous question on an exam.
  12. Rectitude, n., the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  13. Pokemon, n., a Rast afarian proctologist.
  14. Oyster, n., a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
  15. Fresbeetarianism, n., the belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
  16. Circumvent, n., an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

-- thanks to Judi Koehn

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Each year on the anniversary of its founding, April 18, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) marks World Amateur Radio Day <http://www.iaru.org/rel030418.html>. On this, the 83rd anniversary of its inaugural meeting in Paris, the IARU dedicates World Amateur Radio Day to the radio amateurs, educators and administrators who use Amateur Radio to support technology education in the classroom.

To call attention to the occasion in advance, ARRL staffers will be activating W1AW in the CQ WPX SSB Contest <http://www.cqwpx.com> this weekend (March 29-30) using the IARU club call sign NU1AW. By celebrating the event, staffers hope to provide an opportunity for hams worldwide to put NU1AW in their logs, chase the WPX award <http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/cqworldwidewpxawards.html> and learn about HF propagation as the world turns through day and night not once, but twice! Springtime propagation near the equinox is enhanced on the HF bands, even during the Solar Cycle minimum, so it's worth taking a listen even if the HF bands have been quiet lately.

This year's theme for World Amateur Radio Day is "Amateur Radio: A Foundation of Technical Knowledge." What better way to express the theme than by engaging in one of the largest international radiosporting events. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, said, "If you haven't tried HF contesting or the WPX contest, the general format is to exchange a signal report (a simple '59' will do nicely) and a serial number (the number of the contact in the contest for you). The contest Web site spells out the way to compute your score, but the fun of this contest is to contact as many different prefixes as possible. For example, NU1AW counts as the NU1 prefix and KX9X counts as KX9. If you're new to HF, your prefix might be one sought after by those calling CQ! The WPX contest also features a 'Rookie' category for new radiosport folk, so be sure to send in your log as described by the rules -- it's easy!

World Amateur Radio Day is also an opportunity for publicizing Amateur Radio to the interested public that may not be familiar with ham radio activities. Radiosport is an excellent way to introduce our service to teachers and students, as well. Competitive activities are an important focus for students to take the opportunity to ask questions about how signals get "from here to there" while watching hams make rapid-fire contacts around the world or even making a contact or two themselves, Kutzko said.

"NU1AW is not expected to be seriously competitive in the event," Kutzko explained, "but will make every attempt to be on the air as propagation warrants, so we hope to hear you marking the day and making World Amateur Radio Day a part of your springtime ham radio operation."

-- from the ARRL Letter

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