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 2009
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

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From the Oval ShackPresident's Message

Hello Everyone -

In case anyone does not know, our 440 repeater is back online. Thank you to Fred Baker, W7SIX, who went up and worked his magic on it. I think I heard it was a UPS problem, but it is working now. Also thanks to Ken Dahl, K7TAG, for his prompt response to my email about the repeater. I had sent the email as a "Hail Mary" because I did not know who to approach. I assumed Ken would not be reading his email so frequently while out of town, but he sent an immediate response. If any other problems are found with the repeaters, please let me know.

January was our first meeting at the Red Cross and while attendance was lower than normal, I did enjoy the presentation. Lynn Burlingame, N7CFO, spoke about VHF contesting and mountain-topping. I was pleased with my daughters being licensed at 11 and 13, and here his daughter was pounding brass at 9!

Please spread the word that we are now meeting at the Red Cross building and also that we are meeting on the THIRD Wednesday of each month rather than the fourth.

On a final note, Lee Chambers, KI7SS, could use some hams to help with the "Doo Wop" road rally in March, so if you are available please give it consideration.


Klaus, AC7MG

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Mobile Operations Statement

On January 30, at the instruction of the Board of Directors at its January 2009 meeting, the ARRL Executive Committee adopted a policy statement on mobile Amateur Radio operations. The statement addresses the growing number of proposed state and local laws and ordinances regulating the use of cellular telephone and text messaging, inadvertently affecting Amateur Radio mobile communications.

In its statement, the Executive Committee urges state and municipal legislators to limit the scope of their proposals, limiting them to devices such as full duplex wireless telephones and related hand-held or portable equipment. Alternately, it suggests that licensed Amateur Radio operation be listed specifically as an exclusion to the proposed regulations.

"At the start of each new session, you see a flurry of this type of proposal in state legislatures across the country," said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. As of February 1, 2009, Henderson said that the ARRL is aware of proposals in 11 states: Georgia, Hawaii Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming, as well as several local city or town proposals.

"These proposals are usually intended to regulate cellular telephone and text messaging by drivers as a matter of safety but, when they are written in very broad terms, can include Amateur Radio mobile operations in the 'net' they cast," Henderson continued. "The Executive Committee's policy statement gives a good, concise background of the role the Amateur Service plays in public safety and service communications. It also highlights the differences between communications conducted by cellular telephone and those using Amateur Radio. Finally, the statement offers some suggested statutory language for state motor vehicle codes which would protect Amateur Radio mobile operation."

The ARRL recognizes that driver inattention is a leading cause of automobile accidents. The policy statement raises the fact that cell phones utilize full duplex communications -- where the user is talking and listening simultaneously. The Executive Committee statement says "Two-way radio use is dissimilar from full-duplex cellular telephone communications because the operator spends little time actually transmitting; the time spent listening is more similar to, and arguably less distracting than listening to a broadcast radio, CD or MP3 player. There are no distinctions to be made between or among Amateur Radio, public safety land mobile, private land mobile or citizen's radio in terms of driver distraction. All are distinguishable from mobile cellular telephone communications in this respect."

The ARRL Policy Statement also recognizes the responsibility of the amateur community to conduct its activities in a manner that does not create unsafe operation of their motor vehicle. "Safety has to be a top concern at all times," Henderson concluded.

The ARRL Policy Statement can be found on the web at, http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/MobileAmateurRadioPolicyStatement.pdf.

-- ARRL Bulletin ARLB011

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Minutes of January 21 OARS Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 1904 hours at the Thurston County Red Cross Facility in West Olympia by President Klaus Neubert, AC7MG. Roll call and introductions occurred next, and the Secretary's minutes of the last meeting were read and accepted.

The speaker for the meeting was N7CFO, President of the NW VHF Society, who spoke on VHF operating and contesting. He offered the group's website, www.pnwvhfs.org as a good source of information.

Next was a showing of the local Red Cross chapter's radio room

It was then announced that the speaker for next month's meeting will be Dan Quigley, N7HQ, who will discuss software development for amateur radio. The March meeting will be a presentation by Jim Pace, the ARRL NW Division Section Manager. The April meeting will have a presentation by Ward Silver. The May meeting will be on Emergency Operations.

It was also noted that the annual Tacoma Mike & Key Club's ham flea market at the Puyallup Fairgrounds will take place on March 7th.

It was then stated that some of the local repeaters may be having problems, and this will be checked out when possible.

Hams may be asked to assist with the coming digital TV conversion.

It was moved and seconded that the meeting be adjourned at 2100 hours.

Respectfully submitted,

-- Paul G. Taylor, KC7LA, Secretary

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Life Explained

On the first day, God created the dog and said "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."

The dog said "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

The monkey said "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created man and said "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."

But man said "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."

So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service.

-- from Klaus, AC7MG

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AA7OH Silent Key

We note with great sadness the passing of long time OARS member Jim Elliott, AA7OH.

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Treasurer's Report

As of 1/31/09

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,409.61

            Income                 0.29

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,409.90

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,021.17

            Income                 0.00

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,021.17

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2009


Announcing the third annual MicroHAMS Digital Conference! The event will be held this year on the main Microsoft campus located in Redmond, WA on March 21st, 2009. The agenda this year will include a wide variety of topics around digital communications and amateur radio. Lunch and snacks are included with the price of the conference and we'll have free Internet access.

Because of space limitations and parking requirements on the Microsoft campus, we are strongly suggesting pre-registering for the event. Registration is $20.00 if done prior to the event and will be $25.00 at the door. We have a web-based sign-up form (details below) and have arranged pre-payment via the Paypal service. (No Paypal account is necessary.)

Event Details

Date: March 21, 2009

Location: Redmond, WA (on the main Microsoft Corporate campus, Building 37)

Time: 9:00 to 17:00+

Lunch: Sub sandwiches and snacks (provided)

After Event: Pizza Gathering (local pizza place, to be named later)

Cost: $20.00 if pre-paid, $25.00 at the door (To cover the cost of hosting the event and lunch)

Registration: http://www.microhams.com/digitalconference

Registration Details

Due to the requirements for hosting the event on the Microsoft campus, we are required to register all the vehicles that will be parked on the campus. To make the registration process as easy as possible, we have a web-based registration form available at:

http://www.microhams.com/digitalconference .

You will be able to register for the conference, provide your vehicle information and pre-pay via the MicroHAMS website. On site registration will be available if space is available for the $25 "at the door" fee.

NOTE: The primary parking for the event is in a covered parking garage located below the conference building. For vehicles with large HF antennas there is an open air parking lot available next door (less than a 5-minute walk). More details will be provided when you register. For more information, please contact ku7mradio@gmail.com.

Hope to see you at this year's Microhams Digital Conference.


Kenny, KU7M


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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 13 or 20:


Net control station reporting for the month was KI7CQ. 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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Class Projects

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I have been teaching a General Class license class for the past five years. The first year, I had five students, the next year 35! This year, I have only five again.

Not being a pedagogical genius, it never really occurred to me until last year to give my General Class students a project to work on while we slogged through the material. Last year, some of them built little QRP kits. Not only was that fun, it was educational. Some of them had never even soldered before!

Since last year's project worked out so well, I am asking this year's students to do some kind of project, but one that they choose themselves. Here is the short list that I came up with:

I wanted to give my students a bigger choice, so I asked the readers of my blog for more suggestions.

Kenneth, W6KWF, replied, "Hands down the most useful and most successful projects I've built have been 2m J-poles. I've built both the 1/2-in. copper tubing and TV line variants, and use both as my primary antennas. The TV line one is nice because I live in an apartment, so when I need a good antenna, I tie a magnet to the top of it and stick it to my upstair neighbor's balcony. It's a very forgiving antenna."

Zeke also liked the idea of building J-pole antennas. "You didn't mention the age group/groups you are working with," he said, "but have you thought about a hands-on project such as a j-pole for 2 or 6 meters. It would give them an opportunity to feel the pride that follows an involved project. Furthermore, the J-pole is a pretty good antenna."

John N8ZYA, said, "I like the [idea of learning CW. It's like learning to play the guitar or piano. A skill that can be used your entire lifetime!"

Robert suggested, "How about building a 20 meter delta loop? I am very inexperienced when it comes to antenna building, but a friend suggested this for working DX on 20 meters and it worked out really well. In fact, my first contact on it was Spain!"

I would love to offer my students even more choices. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail it to me at cwgeek@kb6nu.com. Thanks!

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Logbook of the World Now Easier than Ever

In order to better accommodate new users as well as existing account holders, ARRL's Logbook of The World (LoTW) has been updated http://www.arrl.org/lotw/. According to ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Assistant Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, these improvements were made based on LoTW help questions and listening to users.

"Through the efforts of Membership and Volunteer Services Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, and Information Technology Manager Jon Bloom, KE3Z, we have also added an automated results table on the LoTW Users Home Page that lists members in numeric order who have achieved the Triple Play Award," said ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B. "IT personnel have also fixed a number of longstanding issues with Logbook in recent weeks, and some additional enhancements are underway."

Added enhancements include:

* An LoTW User's Corner that includes quick links to log onto your account, save or renew a certificate and ways to address PC failure.

* The GET STARTED section http://www.arrl.org/lotw/start.html has been simplified with links for each of the four steps in the certificate process.

* LoTW instructions are now available in nine languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian, Slovenian and Spanish. Options to select a language have always been available, but they have now been moved up front to the GET STARTED page. The languages are identified with icons of flags to represent each language.

* The GET STARTED pdf file has been updated to include new screenshots and refinement of some of the processes.

* The software download section now consists of only three icons representing the three operating systems for which software is available: Windows, Mac and Linux. The user simply selects their operating system and they are redirected to the download specific to

their system.

* A new link has been added for QSL Manager, Club Calls and DXpeditions. This link gives details on establishing an account for these special operations and includes a section for 1x1 call signs.

* A new PowerPoint overview is available from the LoTW site. This presentation has also been added to our multimedia library http://www.arrl.org/multimedia The program is an overview of LoTW and what users can expect from the service. There are screenshots of LoTW pages, as well as a condensed version of the certificate and award application process.

With more than 200 million QSOs submitted, ARRL's Logbook of The World system is a repository of log records submitted by users from around the world http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/01/22/10576/?nc=1. When both participants in a QSO submit matching QSO records to LoTW, the result is a QSL that can be used for ARRL award credit. Yaesu is the principal sponsor of the LoTW Web site www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/06/02/10138/.

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Flood Damage Assistance

The Western Washington Amateur Radio Community has been asked by the Washington State Emergency Management Department, to help get the word out to anyone who sustained any damage during the January floods, that FEMA is taking applications for financial assistance.

FEMA has established temporary offices in many communities to assist citizens who need "disaster assistance" or they may register with FEMA at: WWW.DISASTERASSISTANCE.GOV or call 1-800-621-3362.

Let's get the word out, so that no one who needs help gets missed.

-- ARRL Western Washington Section Manager: James David Pace, K7CEX


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