Watts News

Monthly Newsletter of the
Olympia Amateur Radio Society
P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507

 August 2001
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

  •  OARS Picnic August 22
  •  President's Column
  •  July OARS meeting minutes
  •  OARS Net check-ins
  •  Would you like to join?
  •  New Amateur satellite to link remote APRS nodes
  •  Treasurer's Report
  •  Notes from the Vice President
  •  Electronics Fleamarket at Frontier Park
  •  ARRL Board actions
  •  There's no news like old news
  •  Drafting the Declaration of Independence, with laptops
  •  Colors
  •  Prayer of Senility

  • --back to OARS main page

    OARS Picnic August 22

    In place of the regular OARS meeting this month, we will have a potluck picnic at the home of Larry Watkinson, KC7CKO. Larry's address is 1405 9th Ave. SE in Olympia; his phone number is 943-4352

    Hamburgers will provided by Larry; everyone else is requested to bring a potluck dish. Also bring your own chair, if possible.

    Starting time is 6:00 PM.

    --back to Table of Contents

    My wife and I had company the last week in July. My daughter and her family came up from California for a visit. It had been about five years since they were last here, so there had been many changes in the area that they noticed. Thanks to mainly good weather, we were able to get out and about most of the time. The one day we wanted to play golf was windy, but as we are not good golfers it really did not matter. All in all, we had a nice visit. 

    On one of our outings as we were on the way home, I observed a car directly in front of me that was severely tailgating the car in front of him. He was right on its bumper. The road was a two lane road with a double yellow line down the center. Very quickly he crossed the lines, passed the car ahead of him, and then slowed way down. He continued to slow down and I could see him watching the car behind him in his rear view mirror. I commented to my family that this looks like a case of road rage taking place. He had almost slowed to a stop as the cars approached an intersection. As they passed through the junction, the rear car swiftly turned right onto the side road. The lead car proceeded a short way, then performed a U-turn and went after the other car. The driver of this car was a young male. I do not know what happened from that point.

    Upon review of the above event, I have asked myself if I should not have notified the authorities of what was transpiring. In my view, there was a potential for someone getting hurt. I had noticed the license plate of the one vehicle, but by the time I got home I had forgotten it. Another problem was that in the vehicle I was driving I did not have anything to contact anyone. I don't have a cell phone, and my radios are for the most part in my jeep. What this all boils down to is that I was not prepared for an unexpected incident. I am going to review my ability to communicate from my truck (this is my family car) so that if needed, I will be able to respond. I think we all should respond in a situation where there is the potential for injury.

    -- 73 Dan, KB7DFL

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    July OARS meeting minutes

    The meeting was called to order at 19:00.

    The members introduced themselves. There were 21 members attending.

    There was no old business. There was no new business.

    There was one new member in attendance, WL7CKM, Rex Richardson. 

    The club voted an honorary membership for Dmitriy Rozenblit,RA0LU,our Russian visitor from last month.

    The club decided that some radios donated to the club by Terry, KD7AED, as they are out of the HAM bands, should be sold at the next Puyallup Flea Market and the proceeds placed into the club coffers. Our thanks to Terry for his offer.

    There was a review of the Lakefair Parade. The general consensus is that from a Ham standpoint it was a very successful operation.

    The program for the evening was a video of a DX expedition to Bhutan. This was a well done film and was quite enjoyable. It struck a good balance between operating DX and displaying some of the local culture and color. 

    The meeting adjourned at 21:00.

    -- Dan, KB7DFL

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    OARS Net check-ins

    The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net one or more times in July 2001:

        AA7YD     AB7PS     K2SAR     K7CEZ
        K7TAG     KB6ZBS    KB7DFL    KB7JDL
        KB7NMU    KC7AVR    KC7FEC    KC7LA
        KD7HTG    KD7ISO    KI7SS     N7AGG
        N7GGX     N7JHJ     N7KIP     N7SSD
        N7TPT     N7WW      W3GE      W7DOY
        W7SAY     W7UUO     WB7TT

    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.

    --back to Table of Contents

    Would you like to join?

    -- from Joke of the Day mailing list

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    New Amateur satellite to link remote APRS nodes

    PCSat, a US Naval Academy Amateur Radio tracking and communications satellite, is scheduled to launch September 1 (0100Z) from Alaska. PCSat will augment the existing Amateur Radio Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) by providing links to the 90 percent of Earth's surface not covered by the terrestrial network.

    PCSat was designed and assembled by midshipmen at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to gain practical hands-on experience in support of their aerospace curriculum. The students worked under the guidance of Academy Senior Project Engineer Bob Bruninga, WB4APR -- the "father of APRS."

    "We hope that PCSat will be a new direction for amateur satellites by serving the communications needs of travelers with only mobile and hand-held radios anywhere on Earth," Bruninga said. PCSat will be the first satellite to report its exact position directly to users via its onboard GPS.

    Bruninga said the satellite will demonstrate vehicle tracking and communication for GPS-equipped remote travelers -- including Naval Academy vessels at sea, cross-country travelers, expeditions or anyone far from the existing APRS terrestrial tracking infrastructure.

    In addition to its APRS capabilities, the satellite will offer 1200 and 9600-baud packet operation on VHF (145.825 MHz) and UHF (435.250 MHz). For APRS digipeating, the satellite will use the recognized North American APRS frequency of 144.39 MHz.

    Bruninga said that PCSat should make a great classroom tool, since its telemetry can be received by any hand-held packet radio for display to students on their PCs.

    PCSat will be one of four satellites in the Kodiak Star payload. The others are Sapphire, Starshine III and PicoSat. An Athena I launch vehicle will carry the satellites into space from the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex. This will mark the first attempt to put a satellite into Earth orbit from Kodiak Island. The spacecraft will be launched into an 800-km circular orbit.

    For more information, visit the PCSat Web site, http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/pcsat.html

    -- ARRL Bulletin S014 

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    Treasurer's Report

    As of 7/31/01

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance $ 2,742.41
            Income             3.26
            Expenses         317.64
        Ending balance     2,428.03

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance $   924.77
            Income             0.00
            Expenses           0.00
        Ending balance       924.77

    -- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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    Notes from the Vice President

    July's premier event, the Lakefair Parade, is past, and we're into August and the planning for the summer picnic and the fall road rally September 7th and 8th. Wowzers! What a parade Lakefair was, and what a performance you gave making it work! In total twenty-seven hams were involved in both guiding the participants to the parade's beginning location and in communicating the who-won-what information to the celebrity announcers stationed along the parade route. Hams also helped keep the buses on track, and stood by at a wrecker in case a float broke down. It should be mentioned that the overall parade co-chairs were both hams. We received rave reviews at the post-parade debriefing, and of course, are invited to be back next year! (I have a few tee-shirts; if you helped but didn't get yours let me know!)

    On August 4th, eight of us helped with the Diabetes Horse-A-Thon. This annual event puts 550 horses on the trails of Capitol Forest. Braving damp weather, bees, slick trails, and unfamiliar terrain, the horses and their riders collectively raise $40K for diabetes research. Hams stationed throughout the woods provide a link back to the base camp from which the vet, farrier (horse-shoe installer), medic, or the occasional trailer to take out an injured or tired horse, can be requested.

    This particular event was quite impressive for me. I was at "pre-checkpoint One," a lonely crossing of a dirt road and the horse trail. One horse shied from a red sign tacked to a tree and began bucking, throwing its rider high into the air and face-first into the dirt and rocky trail. I thought we had a serious injury to deal with. The horse continued to buck for a couple minutes, kicking and screaming (horses can scream) before its front feet became entangled with its own bridle. This forced it to quit, so we could see to the rider, a gal of about 40. She received a split-open forehead but no serious injuries! She got up pretty angry -- with herself! -- but traded horses and rode off, the horse now ridden by a man who "likes horses that buck."

    Larry KC7CKO's August 22 potluck at his house is almost here! Larry lives on 9th Street on the eastside near downtown Olympia, below the water tower. Be there!

    The road rally September 7th and 8th will be a big one, and I need all the help I can find. That's a Friday evening/Saturday event and doesn't demand two days of work; Saturday is really broken into two pieces. So if you can spare your morning or afternoon, please let me know!

    Plans are made for September's OARS meeting. but October's program is open for discussion. What would you like to see us highlight? 

    The next ham class will be the last two Saturdays of September. Call me at 866-0800 to get in.

    73! -- Lee, KI7SS

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    Electronics Fleamarket at Frontier Park

    The Radio Club of Tacoma will be holding its annual Electronics Fleamarket on Saturday, September 8, from 9 AM to 3 PM. Admission is $5 (16 and under free with an adult).

    The location is Frontier Park (Pierce County Fairgrounds), 21718 Meridian Ave. E, Graham WA. From I-5 take exit 127 to SR-512 E. Go 8.6 miles to SR-161. Turn right onto Meridian St. Go south 7 miles to Frontier Park on your right.

    For more information, call Lou KB7WDB at 253-847-5124, or visit the website http://www.w7dk.org/flea.htm .

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    ARRL Board actions

    ARRL Board Calls for Congressional Action on CC&Rs

    Meeting July 20-21 in Connecticut, the ARRL Board of Directors adopted a goal of legislative action to provide amateurs the same protections from real estate covenants, conditions and restrictions now enjoyed under FCC rules by home satellite dish owners and others receiving over-the-air broadcast signals.

    Board members felt that amateurs should be granted the right to install an antenna having a visual impact similar to that of a home television satellite dish or other antenna that falls under the FCC's Over the Air Reception Devices (OTARD) policy. In 1999, the FCC reaffirmed the OTARD rule that prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming.

    The Board also approved the filing of a petition seeking a domestic, secondary allocation for the Amateur Service at 5.250 to 5.400 MHz. The petition will ask that amateurs General and above be allowed to operate in the so-called 60-meter band at up to maximum authorized power. No mode sub-bands will be proposed at this time.

    The Board also adopted the revised band plan for 160 meters based on a proposal from the ad hoc 160-Meter Band Plan Committee. The plan adopted sets aside a segment for digital modes from 1.800 to 1.810 MHz, maintains CW operation for the entire 1.8 to 2.0 MHz band, recommends a lower limit of 1.843 for SSB operation, and designates QRP calling frequencies--1.810 for CW and 1.910 for SSB.

    The 1.830 to 1.850 MHz "DX window" was eliminated. The committee recommended that contest sponsors "consider the use of DX windows as necessary." The plan accommodates established frequencies used on 160 for AM.

    The ARRL Board of Directors also endorsed the Logbook of the World. An electronic alternative to collecting traditional QSLs for awards, the project goes beyond simply replacing printed cards with electronic versions. Logbook of the World will make use of electronic confirmations within a giant repository of QSO information maintained by ARRL. Digital security methods will ensure data integrity and authenticity.

    The Board also approved a new QRP DXCC award. Applications likely will be accepted starting early next year. No QSL cards would be required, and there would be no time limits or endorsements. 

    The Board approved a plan to invite all International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 countries to take part in Field Day starting in June of 2002. This would expand participation in the popular annual event to include stations in both North and South America.

    The Board also resolved to encourage hamfest and convention sponsors to offer free admission to anyone under 16 years old and accompanied by a paying adult.

    -- ARRL Bulletin 27

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    There's no news like old news

    Thanks to David Bushell, KC7AIJ, for sending along some very interesting web pages from "Radio News" Vol 1 No3, Atlantic City, October 15, 1915. Following are some extracts:

    Club Station

    Through the efforts of one of new members, namely Mr. Gleisner, we are very close to having the much discussed club room in the tower of the Guarantee Trust Building. All negotiations have not as yet been completed but it is expected by the time this goes to press, the whole matter will be cleared up. Everyone has heralded the idea and great things are expected, and of course this is up to everybody, and not some particular person as is generally considered in our club matters.

    Wireless Telephone

    No doubt most of the amateurs in and about the City are aware that there is a wireless station in operation, presumably at NAA. He works between 12 and 1 AM.

    The wavelength is approximately 9000 meters.

    A peculiar thing about the wireless telephone here used is that the voice always sounds the same, even though different persons are talking.

    The several nights he has been heard "Everett," "Ed" and Will have been heard at trying their voice.

    A Few Don'ts

    I       Don't work around 110 lines or other sources of high current with your mouth open. Even a slight tingle of current may make you jump. Either you may break a tooth or lose a piece of your tongue.

    II      Don't try to make the other fellow find out what you know. He may succeed.

    III     Don't hold back anything that may be for the good or interest of the association.

    Base Ball

    During the recent World Series "3IF" supplied several workmen on the street back of the station with the scores and plays as sent out by "WHE." The rest of the equipment consisted of a phonograph horn, which was used as a megaphone.

    For more antique radio news, visit: http://www.eht.com/oldradio/arrl/

    Also, there is now a link to Antique Radio on the OARS website.

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    Drafting the Declaration of Independence, with laptops

    Mr. Jefferson: Gentlemen, the summer grows hot, and it is essential that we complete this Declaration of Independence.

    Mr. Franklin: Wait a minute, Thomas. I have to reboot here. 

    Mr. Jefferson: That's all right, Ben. We'll go on without you. Has everyone had a chance to look at the draft I posted yesterday? 

    Mr. Sherman: Not yet, Thomas, I've been having Notes replication problems.

    Mr. Adams: Here, Roger, I brought a hard copy.

    Mr. Sherman: Thanks... saaaaay, nice font.

    Mr. Adams: Do you like it? I downloaded it off Colonies Online just last week.

    Mr. Jefferson: Gentlemen! There is work to be done. I fear our document will soon leak out.

    Mr. Livingston: Too late, Thomas. There's already a bootleg circulating. I saw it posted on alt.georgeIII.sucks last night. 

    Mr. Franklin: @#$$%^$# General Protection Fault!

    Mr. Adams: Ben, you might try upgrading to Windows 75. It solved that problem for me.

    Mr. Sherman: Thomas, the part here about the Acts of Pretended Legislation; have you considered using bullets to air out the text? 

    Mr. Jefferson: I can fix that easily enough. Drat! I've spilled candle wax on my keyboard again.

    Mr. Adams: You know, Thomas, that wouldn't happen if you'd buy an active-matrix screen.

    Mr. Franklin: Hard-disk failure?!? Aw, criminy!!

    Mr. Livingston: Are you sure it's "unalienable rights"? My spell checker recommends "unassailable."

    Mr. Jefferson: Can we stick to the substance of the document, please? Shoot. Low battery. Anyone got a spare power cable?

    Mr. Sherman: What have you got, a Toshiba? No, mine isn't compatible. 

    Mr. Franklin: Hello, PCs Philadelphia? What does it mean when the floppy drive buzzes? OK, I'll hold.....

    Mr. Livingston: The "In Congress" part here at the top; have you thought about blowing that up really big and maybe centering it in 72 point Helvetica?

    Mr. Jefferson: Not a bad idea. Aw, nuts! Word macro virus! I can't save the file. 

    Mr. Franklin: That's all right, Thomas. We can manage. Here, borrow my quill pen....

    -- author unknown

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    I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her.

    I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me. Even though she was always correct, it was fun for me, so I continued asking her.

    At last she headed for the door, saying, "Grandpa, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!"

    -- from Joke of the Day

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    Prayer of Senility

    God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never cared for anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    -- thanks to Dave LeFevre, KC7FEC

    --back to Table of Contents
    --back to OARS main page