Monthly Newsletter of the
Olympia Amateur Radio Society
P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507
I did enjoy the ham radio aspects of 2004, and I hope I did contribute some modicum of leadership and wisdom through my day-to-day amateur radio activities, and contributions to the club. I do know that I wasn't able to be as active in the second half of the year as I would have liked, but with my XYL still in the hospital after five months, I didn't have much control over that. She's still having a few problems with infections, but the fine doctors at UWMC seem to be on top of her care, if not ahead of it.
Like I said last month, on to the future. Amateur radio has a lot of issues that will continue to be important in 2005, and some that will newly appear.
Field Day should continue to be an important part of OARS in 2005, but Lee KI7SS, and I will not be able to participate this year. I will probably be back in 2006. Interesting point of fact that Duane pointed out to me a few weeks ago: digital contacts count just as much as CW contacts...
BPL, of course, continues to be huge. We can't talk to 'em in an emergency if we can't hear 'em. My line noise is about the same as it was two years ago...
Antenna restrictions all over the country continue to get slowly worse.
One item that just broke through the noise level is bandwidth regulation and/or legislation. We'd better pay attention to that one. The ARRL is bringing this issue to the attention of the FCC now, and I think changes will eventually come that will affect us for the next fifty years.
Software-controlled radios intrigue me a lot. That one's also going to amaze a lot of people in the decades to come.
Most importantly, I think OARS should continue doing what it has been doing. The members -- that would be you -- have always shown the best support for our club in particular and amateur radio in general that I have seen in any community in the past thirty years as a ham radio operator. Volunteer work is never easy to put together, and this club is amazing.
One last message to the membership of OARS: thank you for allowing me to be President of this fine organization in 2004. It's been an honor and a pleasure.
Keep a steady keel, Ken. You have the helm.
-- Leroy, N7EIE, President, Olympia Amateur Radio Society 2004
The OARS 2004 (2005?) Holiday Potluck will be held beginning at 17:00 on Saturday, January 8, 2005 at the Olympia Search and Rescue (OSAR) building at 9111 Yelm Highway SE, Lacey. This is on the right hand side of the road about 3.3 miles past the intersection of Yelm Highway and Ruddle Road.
Bring your favorite dish and we will provide paper plates and silverware. OSAR will provide hot coffee and tea. If you would like other beverages, please bring them.
As in past years, bring a small gift(s) which can be auctioned off to bring some additional revenue into the club treasury.
See you there.
-- Ken Dahl, K7TAG
The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net on one or more of the dates November 9, 16. 23, or 30:
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.
There were two blondes who went deep into the frozen woods searching for a Christmas tree. After hours of sub-zero temperatures and a few close calls with hungry wolves, one blonde turned to the other and said,"I'm chopping down the next tree I see. I don't care whether it's decorated or not!"
-- from ZL3AI, via packet
As of 11/30/04
GENERAL FUND (checking account)
Previous balance $316.81
Ending balance 169.20
REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)
Previous balance $ 978.61
Ending balance 978.61
-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer
to all OARS members!
Officials of Internet service provider EarthLink told the FCC that broadband over power line (BPL) cannot compete with the dominant cable or DSL technology today or in the near future. A BPL industry spokesperson subsequently criticized the ARRL apparently for reporting the company's statements. EarthLink President and CEO Garry Betty and other company officials met November 16 with FCC Chairman Michael Powell and Commission attorney Aaron Goldberger to deliver an ex parte presentation on several Wireline Competition Bureau and Common Carrier Bureau proceedings.
"EarthLink discussed that it has invested in and is in trials with several potential 'third wire' broadband transmission paths to the home, including WiFi, WiMax, MMDS and broadband over power lines," EarthLink Counsel Mark J. O'Connor informed FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch in a November 17 letter. "However, EarthLink pointed out that cable and DSL still account for virtually all consumer broadband connections and that none of these alternative technologies offer a commercially viable alternative today or in the near future."
An EarthLink analysis indicated that BPL is the most expensive of the broadband technologies it evaluated. In a chart titled "Next generation broadband," EarthLink said that wireless and BPL "are not likely to be competitive in cost and performance with cable and DSL over the last mile to the home."
EarthLink judged as "not successful" one unspecified BPL technical trial using Amperion equipment in a "wireless/BPL combo." In discussing other trials using Ambient and Current Technologies equipment -- in one of which EarthLink had invested -- the ISP's assessment was that the high cost per household passed -- $125 in both instances -- would require a better than 15 percent market penetration to attain a competitive cost.
EarthLink said its assessment determined that ADSL2+ technology is the "best option" and can offer VoIP as well as high-speed broadband (at 6 to 10 Mbps) and video over copper wire and using on-premise consumer equipment. The company also indicated that it plans to invest in ADSL2+ technology. The company's ex parte submission is available on the FCC Web site.
ARRL's reporting of EarthLink's submission to the FCC apparently struck a nerve at Ambient, with which EarthLink has a business relationship. In a classic case of shooting the messenger, Ambient CEO John J. Joyce took the League to task on behalf of the BPL industry in a statement posted via Market Wire on the CBS MarketWatch.com Web site. Joyce seemed to suggest that the League itself had provided the EarthLink information and was spinning the company's remarks to advantage.
"The release by the ARRL clearly takes the statements of EarthLink's attorney out of context and conveniently ignores many developments in the industry that contradict ARRL's conclusions," Joyce said, adding that 2005 promises to be "the year of BPL."
Among other things, Joyce said that "the ARRL perception of BPL's economics fails to consider that consumer broadband is only one application for a BPL-enabled utility system." He said there are other industrial applications that may augur in BPL's economic favor. He also emphasized that the projects with which his company and EarthLink have collaborated were demonstrations "never intended to be competitive installations" and are "in no way representative of BPL economics."
ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said the League stands by its account, which Joyce characterized as a "claim" on the ARRL's part. "ARRL's report on the document was accurate in every way, and we stand by our report," he said. "The conclusions given are not ours, but EarthLink's. Anyone who wishes to do so can read the submission for themselves."
-- from the ARRL Letter
-- from ZL3AI via packet
All OARS members' dues for 2005 are payable on January 1. The annual amount is $20, or $25 for a family membership.
As you can see from the Treasurer's report, our bank balances are getting low, so please do it now -- make out your check to OARS and bring it to a meeting or mail it to the OARS P.O. Box listed at the top of this newsletter.
Please send any changes or corrections to this list to OARS@att.net or call me (George kb6le) at 360-866-2185.
Also, if you are on this list and not receiving Watts News via email, and would like to, please let me know and I will add you to the email distribution. If the email copy satisfies your needs, let me know that also and I will remove you from the U.S. mail distribution. Our bank balances are low, and every 37 cent savings helps.
-- George, KB6LE, Editor