Olympia Amateur Radio Society

ARRL Special Service ClubWatts News

Monthly Newsletter of the

Olympia Amateur Radio Society

P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507

  February 2007
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

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From the Oval ShackPresident's Message

The OARS meeting in February will be held at the Radio Club of Tacoma. We do not have access to the South Bay fire station on this date. We will meet at the EOC on Pacific avenue and carpool there. We leave at 6:30 Feb 28th. If you need a ride from your home, contact me. Bring a friend. The Tacoma Club is one of the oldest radio clubs in the United States. It is one of the few clubs that owns its own building. This event will allow us to make new friends and renew old acquaintances.

In March we are back at the South Bay fire station and we will be taught how to solder and make predictable connections, e.g. PL 259 etc. There are many who are already experts and have been for years. There are many of us new folks who could use some training on this subject. One of the observations I made this year is the fact that many of us are more capable than some of us -- but none of us are as capable as all of us. If you know all about connectors you will be busy in this meeting being an Elmer, and YOU ARE NEEDED. Look around, bring a friend, invite someone who has not attended in a while, bring someone new.

It is also important to begin preparing for field day. What would you like to do? Many opportunities are available. We need folks to assist with public relations, set up, design etc. This is a tremendous opportunity to gain excellent experience using field stations and making contacts all over the country. Contact me at btendo@hotmail.com mailto:btendo@hotmail.com and tell me your ideas. Andrew Carnegie said, "Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." Field day this year is not going to be a common field day. It will be spectacular!

Have a great month!

Best regards,

-- Bart AB7AX

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Many thanks to those who have paid their 2007 dues. If you have not yet paid, please mail your check to the OARS P.O. box or give it to Treasurer Ed Fitzgerald at the next meeting.

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OARS Meeting Minutes

Jan. 24, 2007 at South Bay Fire Station 81, Olympia, WA

The meeting was called to order by Vice-President Lee Chambers (KI7SS) at 1922 hours.

Persons in attendance introduced themselves, then the meeting was turned over to OARS President Bart Tirrell (AB7AX).

It was noted that the OARS Board of Directors will meet at Lee Chambers' house on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 1900 hours. This meeting will be a regular occurrence, so that routine business can be handled by the Board one week after each general meeting, which will produce more enjoyable general meetings. These board meetings are always open to the attendance of any OARS member, and matters of special or major interest will always be presented for voting upon at the next general meeting.

It was noted that this year's Communications Academy will take place on March 31 and April 1st in Seattle, and that this is a very beneficial conference for anyone interested in emergency communications.*

It was moved and seconded that our member now stationed in Iraq, Ed Bratten, (K6EKB), be awarded a full 2007 membership in OARS.

The February OARS meeting will take place at the meeting of the Radio Club of Tacoma, and that arrangements will be made to caravan members to that location.

Refreshments were served and the meeting was turned over to Lee Chambers, who gave a video presentation of the 2002 World Radiosport Championships in Finland.

It was moved and seconded that the meeting be adjourned at 2047 hours.

*Note: for more info, see www.commacademy.org

-- Paul Taylor, KC7LA, Secretary

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Board Meeting Notes

Notes from OARS Board of Directors Meeting, Jan. 31, 2007

The meeting was held at 1930 hours at the home of Lee & Nancy Chambers. Attending were Bart Tirrell (AB7AX) President, Lee Chambers (KI7SS)Vice-President, and Paul Taylor (KC7LA) Secretary.

President Bart will work with Watts News Editor and web site host George Lanning (KB6LE) to update the OARS web site http://olyham.org.

The next meeting on Feb. 28th will be a club visit to the meeting of the Radio Club of Tacoma, W7DK. The OARS group will car-pool to this meeting (see below).

The meeting on March 28th will include instruction on proper construction of PL-259 co-ax connectors, something that every ham should understand.

Location for the 2007 ARRL Field Day was discussed. Possible locations mentioned were the Capitol Campus and the school grounds on Tumwater Hill. Arrangements for FD feeding operations were also discussed.

The listing of club officers will be updated.

The status of the OLY packet node will be investigated and possible improvements studied.

Meeting was adjourned.

Information regarding the visit to W7DK on Feb, 28th: Those going to this meeting will meet in the Thurston County EOC parking lot on Pacific Avenue and depart for Tacoma at 1830 Hours.

Route: North on I-5 to the Highway 512 exit; head east toward Puyallup.

Travel 3.6 miles to the third off-ramp, Portland Avenue. Take a right and go 3 blocks to 112th street, then turn left. Go 0.6 miles to Waller Road. On the NE corner of 112th and Waller is the Pierce County Library Administration Building, the meeting place. The meeting starts at 1930 hours, with socialization before and after the meeting. (Please don't be late!)

-- Paul Taylor, KC7LA, Secretary

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Treasurer's Report

As of 1/31/07

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 2,442.50

            Income               255.57

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         2,698.07

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance $     1,000.69

            Income                 0.00

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,000.69

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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OARS Net check-ins

The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net one or more times on the dates of January 9 and 16:


Net control stations reporting for the month were Dan, KB7DFL, and Steve, 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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End of Morse Code Testing

It's official! Morse code requirement ends Friday, February 23

Circle Friday, February 23, on your calendar. That's when the current 5 WPM Morse code requirement will officially disappear from the Amateur Radio Service Part 97 rules. On or after that date, applicants for a General or Amateur Extra class Amateur Radio license no longer will have to demonstrate proficiency in Morse code. They'll just have to pass the applicable written examination. Federal Register publication January 24 of the FCC's Report and Order (R&O) in the "Morse code proceeding," WT Docket 05-235, starts a 30-day countdown for the new rules to become effective. Deletion of the Morse requirement -- still a matter of controversy within the amateur community -- is a landmark in Amateur Radio history.

"The overall effect of this action is to further the public interest by encouraging individuals who are interested in communications technology or who are able to contribute to the advancement of the radio art, to become Amateur Radio operators; and eliminating a requirement that is now unnecessary and may discourage Amateur Service licensees from advancing their skills in the communications and technical phases of Amateur Radio," the FCC remarked in the "Morse code" R&O that settled the matter, at least from a regulatory standpoint.

The League had asked the FCC to retain the 5 WPM for Amateur Extra class applicants, but the Commission held to its decision to eliminate the requirement across the board. The R&O appearing in the Federal Register constitutes the official version of the new rules. It is on the web in PDF format at http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov /2007/pdf/E7-729.pdf

Until 1991, when a Morse code examination was dropped from the requirements to obtain a Technician ticket, all prospective radio amateurs had to pass a Morse code test. With the change the US will join a growing list of countries that have dropped the need to demonstrate some level of Morse code proficiency to earn access to frequencies below 30 MHz.

The new rules also put all Technician licensees on an equal footing, whether or not they've passed a Morse code examination. Starting February 23, Technicians will gain CW privileges on 80, 40, 15 meters and CW, RTTY, data and SSB privileges on 10 meters.

Once the revised rules are in place, an applicant holding a valid Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for Element 3 (General) or Element 4 (Amateur Extra) may redeem it for an upgrade. A CSCE is good for 365 days from the date of issuance, no exceptions. For example, a Technician licensee holding a valid CSCE for Element 3 may apply at a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) test session, pay the application fee, which most VECs charge, and receive an instant upgrade.

The FCC R&O includes an Order on Reconsideration in WT Docket 04-140 -- the so-called "omnibus" proceeding. It will modify Part 97 in response to ARRL's request to accommodate automatically controlled narrowband digital stations on 80 meters in the wake of other rule changes that became effective last December 15. The Commission designated 3585 to 3600 kHz for such operations, although that segment will remain available for CW, RTTY and data. The ARRL had requested that the upper limit of the CW/RTTY/data subband be set at 3635 kHz, so that there would be no change in the existing 3620 to 3635 kHz subband.

The ARRL has posted all relevant information on these important Part 97 rule revisions on its "FCC's Morse Code Report and Order WT Docket 05-235" Web page, http://www.arrl.org/fcc/morse/.

-- ARRL Bulletin ARLB005

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Quotes from Athletes

Why athletes shouldn't have day jobs ...

1. Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: "I wan' all dem kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I wan''all the kids to copulate me."

2. New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

3. And, upon hearing Joe Jacoby of the 'Skins say: "I'd run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl," Matt Millen of the Raiders said: "To win, I'd run over Joe's Mom, too."

4. Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."

5. Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann, 1996: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

6 . Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh : "I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes." (now that is beautiful)

7. Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line up alphabetically by height." And, "You guys pair up in groups of three, and then line up in a circle."

8. Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson going to prison: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton."

9. Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: "That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes."

10. Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."

11. Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, an d I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt." (I wonder if his IQ ever hit room temperature in January)

12. Frank Layden , Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care'"

13. Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four Fs and one D: "Son, looks to me like you're spending too much time on one subject."

14. Amarillo High School and Oiler coach Bum Phillips when asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded: "Because she is too damn ugly to kiss good-bye."

-- Thanks to Judi Koehn

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League Criticizes FCC Chairman for Perpetuating BPL Rural Service Myth

The ARRL this week took FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin to task for telling the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that broadband over power line (BPL) technology is the answer to broadband deployment in rural areas. Martin and the other four FCC commissioners testified February 1 during a committee hearing, "Assessing the Communications Marketplace: A View from the FCC." In his prepared remarks, the chairman described BPL as a "potentially significant player due to power lines' ubiquitous reach, allowing it to more easily provide broadband to rural areas." ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, criticized Martin for repeating "specious BPL industry claims" that suggest BPL has anything to offer rural dwellers.

"The assertion that BPL can 'more easily provide broadband to rural areas' is one of the big lies about BPL," Sumner said. "It has been debunked time and time again, and it is beyond comprehension to hear it parroted by the federal government's senior telecommunications regulator at this late date."

Martin's remarks, Sumner added, "should demonstrate to the committee why legislation is needed to force the FCC to use technical studies, rather than outdated industry propaganda and wishful thinking, as the basis for making BPL-related decisions."

Martin cited United Power Line Council (UPLC) "reports" that there are now at least 38 trial BPL deployments plus 7 commercial trials, apparently deriving his figures by counting the dots on a UPLC map, since updated. The most recent edition, dated January 19, appears to indicate just 25 BPL trials, but that list includes some systems that do not appear in the BPL industry database. The map also shows 9 commercial deployments, including one in Pennsylvania believed to have been shut down.

The FCC's "High-Speed Services for Internet Access: Status as of June 30, 2006" report -- the most recent available -- shows that the number of high-speed "lines" grew by nearly 13.5 million in the first six months of last year. Of that number, nearly 640 were listed as "power line and other," an increase of some 14 percent in that category but about half the overall growth in high-speed services.

"These latest FCC figures underscore just how far out of touch the Commission itself is with marketplace reality," Sumner remarked. "How much longer will the Commission continue to tout BPL as a viable consumer broadband option in the face of its own contrary data?"

In joint comments to the FCC in 2003 on the then-pending BPL rule making proceeding, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) cited studies indicating BPL would "not be a viable solution for most Americans in truly rural areas any time soon."

"To date, no BPL system has been demonstrated to work, much less been commercially deployed, on a long, sparsely populated rural electric power line," the NRTC/NRECA comments said. "Even if BPL technology proves to be reliable and does not cause unacceptable radio frequency interference in rural deployment, the economics will likely be prohibitive for some time to come. This is because signal repeaters or regenerators will be required at intervals as small as one-fourth to three-fourths of a mile along lengthy rural power lines" in addition to the numerous and necessary network access points and backhaul lines.

More recently, the NRTC last fall cited studies by Chartwell Inc, a research company specializing in electric power topics, that found only 5 percent of utilities were moving ahead with BPL projects while 13 percent were planning or "considering" them. On the other hand, two utilities with more than a million customers between them reported discontinued existing BPL programs, according to a Chartwell member newsletter.

The League has suggested that potential investors in rural broadband delivery would be better off considering wireless LAN or satellite technology as more promising possibilities.

-- from The ARRL Letter

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President Expresses Appreciation to Amateur Radio Operators

President George W. Bush has written the ARRL to recognize the just-ended Hello Amateur Radio public relations campaign and to extend "greetings to all those celebrating 100 years of voices over the airwaves." The president said the centennial of Reginald Fessenden's landmark Christmas Eve 1906 voice broadcast "opened the door for technological advances" that improved the lives of people around the world.

"I appreciate all who work in radio, and I am grateful to the Amateur Radio operators who provide emergency communications that help make our country safer and more secure," President Bush wrote. "Your good work strengthens our society and represents the American spirit."

ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, conceived and developed the Hello campaign. He says that while that initiative is formally over, ARRL public information coordinators and officers will take advantage in the new year of the momentum it generated.

"As we begin launching the new Emergency Communications campaign, the friendships and goodwill developed in Hello will aid in future promotions of Amateur Radio," Pitts commented. "For 100 years, radio in its many forms has saved lives and aided in crises. We have a great legacy and a bright future."

The grand finale of the Hello campaign December 29-30 involved special event operations from W1AW (see The ARRL Letter, Vol 26, No 02, Jan 12, 2007), W1F at Brant Rock, Massachusetts (see below), and GB1FVT in Scotland.

The theme of the ARRL's 2007 public relations initiative is "Ham Radio . . . Getting the Message Through for your Family and Community." It will focus on Amateur Radio's capability to provide reliable emergency communication when traditional systems fail or become overloaded.

-- from The ARRL Letter

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I'm a Father

A little boy got on the bus, sat next to a man reading a book, and noticed he had his collar on backwards. The little boy asked why he wore his collar that way. The man, who was a priest, said "I am a Father."

The little boy replied, "My Daddy doesn't wear his collar like that." The priest looked up from his book and answered "I am the Father of many."

The boy said, "My Dad has four boys, four girls and two grandchildren and he doesn't wear his collar that way."

The priest, getting impatient, said, "I am the Father of hundreds" and went back to reading his book.

The little boy sat quietly thinking for a while, then leaned over and said, "Maybe you should wear your pants backwards instead of your collar!"

-- from Eugene Mouncer, via Internet

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