Watts News

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

 February 2002
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

  •  From the Oval Shack
  •  W7GNR radio equipment for sale
  •  Treasurer's Report
  •  President Bush addresses Florida ARES net
  •  OARS Board Meeting
  •  Silent Keys
  •  OARS Renewals
  •  A Potato Story
  •  OARS Net check-ins
  •  Communications Academy 2002 coming to Seattle March 23-24
  •  Communications Problem
  •  ARRL unveils antenna modeling course
  •  Hot fudge
  •  Just pondering
  •  ARRL Field Day changes

  • --back to OARS main page

    I hope that February finds everything well with all of our members. This month I want to discuss organizational membership and change. The only way to change an organization is from the inside, not from the outside looking in. If you are not happy with the way that an organization presents itself, then you must be an active member of that organization to promote its change.

    This is true of both the Olympia Amateur Radio Society, OARS, and also, our only national representative, the ARRL. You are probably a member of OARS or you wouldn't be reading this, but do you actively participate? I would enjoy your input to myself and the rest of our leadership team on changes that you would like to see that would make OARS a more active and enjoyable organization. This is especially true of programs that you would like to see, either at our monthly club meetings or as extra gatherings. 

    I would especially like to encourage everyone to join the ARRL. It is our only national lobby and our representative to the International Amateur Radio Union, IARU. The ARRL is the organization that lobbies for our causes in Washington, DC, particularly with the FCC. Belonging to the ARRL and reporting all of your public service time to your local ARES EC (Dan Crane, KB7DFL is ours) gives the organization strength in numbers. 

    One of the big debates currently going on at the IARU is licensing requiring code or no code. Since the IARU is an organization within the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, only organizations sanctioned by the national government can be members. In our case, this is the ARRL. Regardless of your view on the current code debate, the only way that you can be heard is through the ARRL. We are rapidly approaching WARC 2003 and we need to be heard.

    Don't be on the outside looking in. Become a member of the ARRL and be counted. A silent voice says nothing!

    -- Ken Dahl, K7TAG

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    W7GNR radio equipment for sale

    We have been advised by Vicky Leaf that former OARS member Maurice Monson, W7GNR, is now recovering at a rest home in Auburn, and that his radio equipment is for sale. If interested, please call:

    425-444-4744 (cell) or

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    Treasurer's Report

    As of 1/31/02

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance  $ 2,011.50
            Income            624.00
            Expenses          173.61
        Ending balance      2,464.71

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance    $ 938.86
            Income              0.00
            Expenses            0.00
        Ending balance        938.86

    -- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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    President Bush addresses Florida ARES net

    President George W. Bush spoke January 31 via Amateur Radio to members of the Northern Florida Amateur Radio Emergency Service Net (NFAN). The president was in Florida to spotlight five volunteer groups--among them the Volusia County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) -- for their value to the new Office of Homeland Security.

    "I want to thank all the volunteers who help make sure that Florida is prepared for any kind of emergency," the president said in part, after checking in around 9:15 AM to a regular ARES net session. "'I want to thank you all for helping your communities be prepared." Bush spoke on the net for about 30 seconds.

    Northern Florida ARRL Section Manager Rudy Hubbard, WA4PUP, said Bush spoke from a portable station set up at a Daytona Beach fire station. At the request of ARES Volusia County Emergency Coordinator Joette Barnett, KG4HPN, John Schmidt, AF4PU, and Clifford Fraser, KE4HIY, arranged to have the station ready as a demonstration of Amateur Radio's role in emergency preparedness and in the hope that Bush would be willing to address the 75-meter net.

    ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, said he was "extremely gratified" that President Bush recognized the valuable service Amateur Radio operators provide in times of emergencies. "I know that all hams in the United States stand ready to do their part in America's Homeland Security Program," Haynie commented. Haynie has said that defining Amateur Radio's role in homeland security would top his list of initiatives for his second term.

    Hubbard said a copy of proposed expanded Amateur Radio (PRB-1) antenna legislation was given to the President and to the president's brother, Florida Gov Jeb Bush, for possible introduction in next year's Florida legislative session. "We Amateur Radio operators will volunteer however we're needed, and maybe it will be seen that we can greatly help the nation if we have the antennas we need," Hubbard commented. The proposed bill would seek to extend Florida's PRB-1 law to include private deed covenants, conditions and restrictions.

    -- ARRL Bulletin ARLB009

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    OARS Board Meeting

    President Ken Dahl is calling an OARS Board meeting at 6:00 PM, February 27, just prior to the regular OARS meeting. Items to be covered include: equipment inventory, standing committees and activities, agreement with Thurston County ARES for repeater use, among others.

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    Silent Keys

    We were saddened to learn of the loss of two Olympia area Hams in recent months:

    OARS member James Sharp, KC7AXV, passed away on December 1, 2001. He will be missed by us all.

    Former OARS member Mert Box, KA7NRA, died on January 29, 2002, at age 73. Many OARS members remember Mert, who served as OARS Treasurer in 1983 and 1984, Vice President in 1985, and President in 1986. He was active in ARES and in Road Rally support. His wife Martha, N7GUE, is also a past member of OARS.

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    OARS Renewals

    As of February 19, about half of last year's members have paid their 2002 dues. In addition to the 9 reported in the January newsletter, the following are also now paid up members:

    James Belluomini        KD7GZM
    Curtis Danell
    Bob Lyon                AA7YD
    Sara Lyon               AB7PS
    John Kennedy            KD7ISO
    Pete Judd               KD7LMQ (new)
    Phil Norris             KD7LZA
    Don Sander              KD7LZE (new)
    Bob Goodnow             N7JHJ
    Dan Crane               KB7DFL
    Gard Forester           KF6GAQ
    Mark Hannigan           K7CEZ
    Helen Hannigan          KB7JDL
    Jim Elliott             AA7OH
    George Carle            N7ARY
    Paul Taylor             KC7LA
    Bonnie                  Taylor
    Kip Stilz               K7KIP
    Al Williams             K7PUC
    Lee Chambers            KI7SS
    Chris Chambers          KA7BNS
    Kristopher Chambers     KC7ZWN
    Morgan Chambers         KC7VNY
    Marie Chambers          KC7MNM
    Duane Bradford          WB7ROZ
    Alan Jones              W7SAY
    David Palmer            AC7PT  (new)
    Gerald Julian           KD7CZN (new)
    Ron Hill                W7NN
    Jack Barber             W1PRT
    Ruth Barber             K1IIF
    H.T. Motomatsu          WB7AKL
    Lois Cox                KB7HTX
    Jon Bennett             W7LWB
    Ben Bennett             N7IVM
    Keith McDonald          N7JSK
    Bill Phillips           AB7PT
    Ruth Bolstad            KC7QHK
    Rick Damitio            W7DOY
    Ghery Pettit            N6TPT

    Many thanks to all who have renewed, and a warm welcome to the four new members!

    If you have not yet renewed, consider yourself reminded to do so. Dues are $20 per year ($25 for family). Mail your check to OARS at PO Box 2861, Olympia 98507, or see Treasurer Ed Fitzgerald at the next OARS meeting.

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    A Potato Story

    You know that all potatoes have eyes.

    Well, Mr. and Mrs. Potato had eyes for each other, and finally they got married, and had a little sweet potato, whom they called "Yam." Of course, they wanted the best for Yam. As she grew, they taught her carefully about choosing good character and the importance of virtue. Her mother imparted wisdom along with the "facts of life."

    They warned her about going out and getting half-baked, so she wouldn't get accidentally mashed, and get a bad name for herself like "Hot Potato," and end up with a bunch of Tater Tots. 

    Yam said not to worry, no Spud would get her into the sack and make a rotten potato out of her. Nor would she become a Couch Potato, either. She would get plenty of exercise so as not to be skinny like her Shoestring cousins.

    When she went traveling abroad, Mr. and Mrs. Potato told Yam to watch out for the Hard Boiled guys from Ireland. And the greasy guys from France called the French Fries. And when she went out west, to watch out for the Indians so she wouldn't get scalloped. Yam said she would stay on the straight and narrow and wouldn't associate with those high class Yukon Golds, or the ones from the other side of the tracks whose reputation was shamelessly advertised on the trucks that say, "Frito Lay."

    Mr. and Mrs. Potato sent Yam to Idaho P.U. (that's Potato University) so that when she graduated she'd really be in the Chips. But, in spite of all they did for her, one day Yam came home and announced she was going to marry Tom Brokaw.

    Tom Brokaw! Mr. and Mrs. Potato were very upset. They told Yam she couldn't possibly marry Tom Brokaw because he's just a....

    Are you ready for this?

    Are you sure?

    OK! Here it is!

    Common Tater.

    -- author unknown

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    OARS Net check-ins

    The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net on one or more of these dates: January 15, January 23, February 12.

    AA7YD   AB7PS   K1IIF   K2SAR
    N7HWI   N7JHJ   N7SSD   N7WQY
    N7WW    W1PRT   W3GE    W7JKT
    W7NN    W7SAY   W7UUO   WA6GXI
    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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    Communications Academy 2002 coming to Seattle March 23-24

    I haven't yet seen any official announcements on this, but the following January 10 message gives some preliminary information. The web site mentioned now appears to be complete, including maps and online registration. -- Ed.

    This year's Communications Academy 2002 will be held March 23-24, 2002 at NOAA Western Regional Center -- same place as the last two years. This year security will be very tight because this is a Federal facility, so attendees must register in advance. We have to provide a list to Gate Security of those who have registered. (the previously announced dates of March 30-31 turned out to be Easter weekend!)

    The Web page is still just the basics, but more will be coming as soon as we have speakers and topics confirmed, and other ideas have shaped up. Please spread the word to your teams and other interested people - your local emergency managers, fire, police, etc. We would really like to get more people interested in coming this year. http://www.academy2002.org 

    I have attached a tentative list of topics and times, but it is still a "wish list" at this point. As we get speakers and program titles confirmed it will be placed on the Web page. We have invited the Section Emergency Coordinator from NYC to come be the keynote speaker. I have not heard back from him yet. If he is available and willing to come, we are going to have to find some corporate/agency sponsors to pay travel expenses, since we have no budget. I will be approaching a number of the Emergency Managers about this (all of whom are crying poor because of budget cuts.) Any other funding suggestions would be appreciated. (I'll beg from anyone.)

    The planning committee had discussed charging a small registration fee this year, but we could not figure out how to do online registration and accept credit card payments. We just aren't set up to do that. We probably will be asking for a small voluntary donation at the door, to help defray expenses. 

    QST will have an article about the academy in the Public Service Section in the March issue, and I also sent the information to World Radio Magazine. 

    Please disseminate this information as widely as possible and encourage your team members to attend. For those of you coming a long distance, I will have motel/hotel information on the Web page soon. We really think we have a product worthy of traveling a distance, and the opportunity for networking with your peers is valuable too. Lunches will be available for a small fee each day, if ordered in advance. All that information will be available on the web page and in the mailed brochure.

    We are offering several review sessions for the Emergency Communications Course, Level I, and will have the ECC Level I exam on Sunday afternoon, for those who are interested in taking the test. (I think there will be a charge for the exam -- still working on those details)

    We will have some lobby displays and handouts from vendors and speakers, too. Stay tuned for more information to come, and spread the word. If you have questions, comments, speaker/topic suggestions, funding ideas, etc. please contact me by phone or E-mail.

    Thanks, hope to see all of you there on March 23

    Marina Zuetell, N7LSL

    DEC W. WA Medical Services Team

    Program Chair, Communications Academy 2002


    206-901-6566 w 206-524-6567 h

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    Communications Problem

    A woman brought her baby in to see the doctor, and he determined right away the baby had an ear ache. He wrote a prescription for ear drops. In the directions he wrote, "Put two drops in right ear every four hours" and he abbreviated "right" as an R with a circle around it.

    Several days passed, and the woman returned with her baby, complaining that the baby still had an earache, and his little behind was getting really greasy with all those drops of oil. 

    The doctor looked at the bottle of ear drops and sure enough, the pharmacist had typed the following instructions on the label: "Put two drops in R ear every four hours."

    -- from Joke of the Day

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    ARRL unveils antenna modeling course

    The ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program soon will offer its first technical course -- Antenna Modeling. Written by the well-known author and historian L.B. Cebik, W4RNL, and edited by ARRL Senior Assistant Technical Editor -- and antenna guru -- Dean Straw, N6BV, the course offers students a hands-on tutorial. Registration for Antenna Modeling (EC-004) will open Monday, February 11.

    The course has been through extensive beta testing during the past several weeks, and even the experts found they'd picked up some new knowledge on the subject. "I've been modeling antennas using a computer for about 15 years, and I certainly learned a great many things in this course," Straw commented.

    ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG, said the experts agreed that the best method to master the art and science of antenna design and analysis was to become familiar with the basic concepts of computerized antenna modeling and modeling software. "Using computer simulations -- models -- you will study the performance of a wide variety of antennas, without having to invest in a test range or a room full of test equipment," he said. "In this course, students will learn to master the basic techniques of constructing good models."

    Several excellent and affordable antenna modeling software packages are available. The course will illustrate the elements of modeling antennas using two of the most popular packages based on the NEC-2 core -- EZNEC 3.0 by Roy Lewallen, W7EL http://www.eznec.com/ and NEC-Win Plus by Nittany-Scientific http://www.nittany-scientific.com/.

    Beta testers offered positive feedback after completing the course. "What a gold mine of information!" said Dan Maguire, AC6LA. "I found myself looking forward to taking the next lesson just to see what new things I could learn." Former ARRL staff member Chuck Hutchinson, K8CH, also took a crack at the program. "Wow, I sure learned a lot about antenna modeling!" was his reaction.

    Students will have up to 12 weeks to complete the course material. "There are 31 lessons, and you should plan to spend one to two hours per lesson," Miller advised. The inaugural class begins Tuesday, February 26 and wraps up Tuesday, May 21.

    A sample lesson based on the actual Antenna Modeling course is available on the ARRL Web site http://www.arrl.org/cce/sample-lesson/. Registration for the new Antenna Modeling course opens Monday, February 11, at 4 PM Eastern Time on the ARRL Course Registration page https://www.arrl.org/forms/cce/.

    The registration fee is $80 for ARRL members and $110 for nonmembers. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for all ARRL C-CE courses.

    Answers to most questions are available on the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education home page http://www.arrl.org/cce and the associated C-CE links. To learn more, contact ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG, cce@arrl.org.

    -- from The ARRL Letter, Electronic Edition

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    Hot fudge

    I walked into Dairy Queen the other day and asked for a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge.

    The girl replied, "The hot fudge only comes in one temperature, ma'am."

    -- From Joke of the Day

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    Just pondering

    Scientists have shown that the moon is moving away at a tiny yet measurable distance from the earth every year. If you do the math, you can calculate that 85 million years ago the moon was orbiting the earth at a distance of about 35 feet from the earth's surface.

    This would explain the death of the dinosaurs. The tallest ones, anyway!

    -- from Dave, M0DXM, via packet

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    ARRL Field Day changes

    The ARRL has adopted rule changes affecting Field Day and the ARRL Affiliated Club Competition program. The primary Field Day change -- effective with this year's event June 22-23 -- phases out the Novice-Technician station and replaces it with a new station category, the "Get-On-The-Air" -- or GOTA -- station.

    A GOTA station is intended for operation by Novice and Technician operators or by generally inexperienced or inactive amateurs as well as by as-yet-unlicensed or "under-licensed" operators working under the privileges of a licensed control operator (third-party traffic rules apply -- see the International Third Party Traffic page on the ARRL Web site http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/3rdparty.html ). Under the revised rules, any Class A Field Day entry operating at least two transmitters may include a GOTA station, which will not count as an additional transmitter for the purpose of entry category.

    The GOTA station may operate on any Field Day band and mode, but only one GOTA transmitter may be in use at any given time. The GOTA station may complete up to 400 QSOs to be counted toward the group's total Field Day score. A Field Day group can claim 100 bonus points if its GOTA station successfully completes 400 QSOs. The GOTA station does not affect the additional VHF/UHF station provided under Field Day rule 4.1.2. 

    Field Day 2002 will mark the first in which stations throughout the Americas have been invited to participate. As approved at the July 2001 ARRL Board of Directors' meeting, all International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 countries -- North and South America -- may take part in Field Day starting this June.

    Complete Field Day rules and information packet will be available on the ARRL Web Contest Forms and Rules page http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms in early February. 

    Field Day 2002 pins and T-shirt may be ordered now via the ARRL Web catalog http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?category=&words=Field+Day+Pin.

    -- from the ARRL Letter, Electronic Edition

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    --back to OARS main page