Watts News

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

 January 2002
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

  •  From the Oval Shack
  •  Notes from the Vice President
  •  Treasurer's Report
  •  Jawjuh English
  •  Paid Up Members
  •  2002 Northwest Performance Rally Schedule
  •  The Big Test
  •  ARRL Study Panel Recommends Eliminating Novice Bands
  •  New Amateur Extra class question pool released

  • --back to OARS Home Page

    Happy New Year and welcome to the Future!

    Let me start by saying how pleased I am to be chosen to be part of the leadership team for the Olympia Amateur Radio Society for the next year. As you know, Lee Chambers, KI7SS has again offered to be Vice President and the person in charge of not only our public service, but also bringing us new and interesting programs at our monthly meetings. I know that Lee and all of us on the leadership team would very much welcome input on the programs that you would like to have at our monthly meetings.

    Helen Hannigan, KB7JDL, has been chosen Secretary and Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, will again be keeping track of our finances.

    As we go into 2002, I am struck by the thought that we may be blessed with the ancient Chinese curse, "May You Live in Interesting Times!" Between February 28th Earthquake and the 9/11 disaster on the East Coast, the events of the past year have made it particularly interesting.

    I wonder how many Hams are aware that in Part 97 of its rules, the Federal Communications Commission states that the Amateur Radio Service is a "voluntary non-commercial communications service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications."

    How many of us are truly ready to assist in providing emergency communications? This begins with the proper training and the preparedness of our equipment. Training can be gained through taking classes, but there is nothing like participating in some of our public service events to give us experience in actual message handling. Contact Lee and find out how you can assist with one of these events.

    Consider joining ARES and participating in their training activities. They have a net just before ours on Tuesday evenings and also a check-in net on Saturday mornings at 08:30. I know that Dan Crane, KB7DFL, would welcome you along with a Sunday evening District 4 ARES net on the Capitol Peak Repeater, 145.470 MHz. Join them or at least listen in to find out what is going on.

    Make sure that your gear is ready and you are prepared to assist in the event of an actual emergency, because one of the things that the 9/11 disaster reinforced was that "We will never have enough trained communicators in the event of a major disaster!"

    We look forward to seeing you all at the OARS Net at 19:30 each Tuesday evening and the next Club Meeting on January 23!

    -- 73, Ken, K7TAG

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    Notes from the Vice President

    The Year 2001 was, in many respects, ham radio's finest year -- both locally and nationally. Locally, OARS members sponsored or helped with a variety of events, including the YMCA 10 Run, Capitol City Marathon, Lakefair Parade, Diabetes Horse-A-Thon and four car rallies. We put on a spirited Field Day. Our members lead, and continue to lead, the emergency-service community via ARES, and have put in a lot of time making the Emergency Operations Center systems work well. We have a good rapport with the Red Cross's radio room. Our Tuesday night net continues to attract a large community, listening to see what we're up to. I personally taught three ham classes, one of which licensed 17 Boy Scouts at once. Those 12-year-old voices now brighten our repeater immeasurably, and more importantly, their use of ham radio in an emergency resulted in at least one serious injury being rapidly managed. 

    OARS club meetings continue to have interesting programs and good attendance. Our repeater system is praised and works very well. In December we produced a video, still being aired on the local cable channel (TCTV), that showcased some local hams and may be a harbinger of things to come. We helped when the earthquake came, helped provide communications out-of-area with the fires in the middle of the state, and helped with a search and rescue effort in Mason County. 

    To top it off, we finished with an excellent holiday pot-luck dinner December 29th.Too bad more couldn't attend, but those who came had great food, camaraderie, and fun with a holiday present "auction." It's been a full year. 

    Technically the hobby has received several boosts of merit: 

    PSK-31, the new HF digital mode, has taken off and become an excellent tool. I'd really love to see the mode used on some of our events. We've tried Packet out in the woods during road rallies, but found it wanting; perhaps PSK-31 can overcome Packet's limitations. 

    We put APRS to good use at the Capitol City Marathon, monitoring the location of the start and finish of the event and displaying the information at the announcer's booth for spectators to see. More and more people are getting into the mode; it seems to have reached that critical mass needed to make it mainstream -- an essential. 

    The QRP community has matured and the equipment now available in that mode makes practical a whole new field for ham fun. I refer specifically to the new Yaesu FT-817, which almost single handedly has created an enthusiasm for making contacts world-wide while walking. There are awards for this effort, unique antennas for mounting on a backpack, lots of accessories are being marketed; heck, in ham radio it's become a sub-culture!

    Of major importance, the ham efforts at supporting emergency services at the WTC and Pentagon last fall were a dramatic example of why this "hobby" is so valued. Hundreds of hams pitched in, helping restore order in the chaos. Elsewhere in the world, from hurricanes in the Bahamas to tornados in the middle of the country, hams made a difference. 

    2002's first club meeting is January 23rd in Judge Stilz's courtroom, as our usual meeting room is unavailable. The program will be the same as that planned for November, (you remember that meeting; we were snowed out and it was cancelled), and will be two videotapes. One is a promotional on the new Kenwood TS-2000 (I want two!), the other is entitled The Ham Radio Olympics, WRTC 2000. The Kenwood piece is short and a little light on specifications but still a way to get a handle on the state of the high-end. The WRTC piece is a delight. If there's time, maybe we'll see a few minutes of the TCTV video we made, too. 

    Speaking of the TCTV video, I need your help. When you see it you'll see four people on-camera, but you don't see the crew that runs the system that makes it possible for those four people to sit comfortably, talking about our favorite subject.This crew consisted of three camera operators and four people in the control room, and that is about the minimum possible crew size. I had to beg and cajole and bribe the crew to get them to help, a not unusual circumstance for volunteer crews. 

    The problem is, not just anyone can be "crew." Each crew position requires training -- training that is free from TVW, but a definite prerequisite. There is no crew position you can walk in and do, even if TCTV would let you, which they won't. Typically the training program takes a month or so to get through, one night a week. None of the crew positions are physically demanding (camera operations is probably hardest because you should stand up to do it), and none requires extraordinary skills or dexterity. 

    Now, we've ideas for a continuing, ham radio-centered program, but we can't make it happen without a committed crew. One idea is to produce a show, say one Saturday a month, in the afternoon. We'd set up a station at the studio, antenna outside, and make contacts on 20 meters for a couple hours, then edit out the dead spots, producing an hour or so of either hams on the air talking around the world, or hams having a conversation about what they're doing as they tune around and call CQ. 

    If you'd like to help produce such an effort, please let me know. I'm on the TCTV board of directors and have an inside reach, but more importantly, I'd like to get you trained so you can help make it work. As ham radio operators you already have demonstrated an aptitude as gizmo operators, and will take to this like a duck to water. 

    Another project I have I've named Radio Camp. When I taught the Boy Scouts last spring, and again this past fall, I learned that these kids need both book learning and hands-on. They need material presented in little pieces with some motion in between; they need a different way of teaching than a classic classroom. They're just too bouncy! My experience is that I can teach the ARRL video tape series to adults in a day and a half, IF the book's been read beforehand. It just doesn't work so well with these kids. They leave the class with a lot of self-doubt, and a lot of questions like "How do I learn to solder" and "how do I make something with electronic parts?"

    Another issue is school. These kids have a lot on their minds, school-work wise, and little time for reading "Now You're Talking."

    So, I'm planning a week-long class for 30 kids, the 4th week of June (right before Field Day), culminating in a test (if I can get it organized,) wherein the class teaches both the theory of ham radio and the practice of it. I need help. If you've some time that week, let me know. It'll be fun, I guarantee. 

    Don't forget the OARS meeting the 23rd and the Road Rally Appreciation Dinner the 26th.

    BCNU es 73 DE KI7SS

    -- Lee KI7SS@ARRL.NET

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    Treasurer's Report

    As of 12/31/01

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 2,008.90
            Income                 2.60
            Expenses               0.00
        Ending balance         2,011.50

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance       $ 931.88
            Income                 6.98
            Expenses               0.00
        Ending balance           938.86

    -- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

    Don't forget
    2002 dues are now payable!

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    Jawjuh English

    HEIDI - (noun) - Greeting.

    HIRE YEW - (Complete sentence) Remainder of greeting. Usage "Heidi, Hire yew?"

    BARD - (verb) - Past tense of the infinitive "to borrow." Usage "My brother bard my pickup truck."

    JAWJUH - (noun) - The State north of Florida. Capitol is Lanner. Usage "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck."

    BAMMER - (noun) - The State west of Jawjuh. Capitol is Berminhayum. Usage "A tornader jes went through Bammer an' left $20,000,000 in improvements."

    MUNTS - (noun) - A calendar division. Usage "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck, and I ain't herd from him in munts."

    THANK - (verb) - Cognitive process. Usage "Ah thank ah'll have a bare."

    BARE - (noun) - An alcoholic beverage made of barley, hops, and yeast. Usage "Ah thank ah'll have a bare."

    IGNERT - (adjective) - Not smart. Usage "Them Bammer boys sure are ignert!"

    RANCH - (noun) - A tool used for tight'nin' bolts. Usage "I thank I left my ranch in the back of that pickup truck my brother from Jawjuh bard a few munts ago."

    FAR - (noun) - A conflagration. Usage "If my brother don't change the all in my pickup truck, that thing's gonna catch far."

    TAR - (noun) - A rubber wheel. Usage "Gee, I hope my brother don't git a flat tar in my pickup truck."

    TIRE - (noun) - A tall monument. Usage "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I sure do hope to see that Eiffel Tire in Paris sometime."

    RETARD - (verb) - To stop working. Usage "My grampaw retard at age 65."

    FAT - (noun), (verb) - a battle or combat; to engage in battle or combat. Usage "You younguns keep fat'n, n' ah'm gonna whup y'uh."

    CHEER - (adverb) In this place. Usage "Just set that bare rat cheer."

    FARN - (adjective) - Not domestic. Usage "I cuddint unnerstand a wurd he sed ... must be from some farn country."

    BOB WAR - (noun) - A sharp, twisted cable. Usage "Boy, stay away from that bob war fence."

    JEW HERE - (noun) and (verb) contraction. Usage "Jew here that my brother got a job with that bob war fence cump'ny?"

    HAZE - a contraction. Usage "Is Bubba smart?" "Nah...haze ignert. He ain't thanked but a minnit'n 'is laf."

    SEED - (verb) -- past tense of "to see." "I ain't never seed New York City ... "

    GUBMINT - (noun) - A bureaucratic institution. Usage "Them gubmint boys shore is ignert."

    -- from David ZL3AI via packet

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    Paid Up Members

    The following alert members have already paid their 2002 dues:

            Gary Ernest           N7HKI
            Isabel Ernest         KA7WIC
            David Nightingale     KD7MNM
            George Lanning        KB6LE
            Charles Scovill       KC7FEE
            Curt Danell           (no call)
            Bob Campbell          WA7RDJ
            Sharon Campbell       N7DHE
            Clark Main            N7HCT

    Is your name on the list? If not, remember to send your check for $20 ($25 for family) to Treasurer Ed Fitzgerald at the P.O. Box address listed at the top of this newsletter.

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    2002 Northwest Performance Rally Schedule

        DATES    NAME & AREA

        Feb. 16   Cancelled--no roads available

        Mar. 2    Doo Wop I--Hoquiam, WA area

        Mar. 3    Doo Wop II--Montesano & Brooklyn, WA area

        Apr. 6    Oregon Trail*--Tillamook, OR area

        Apr. 7    Trail's End*--Tillamook, OR area

        May 18    Skookum Mill--Shelton, WA area

        Jun. 15   Dryad Quest--Shelton, WA area

        Jun. 16   Shitepoke--Shelton, WA area

        Aug. 3,4  ORV Rallysprints--McCleary, in Thurston County ORV Park

        Sep. 7    Wild West*-Sou'wester--Olympia, WA area

        Sep. 8    Wild West*-Olympus--Olympia, WA area

        Nov. 9    Mt. Hood--Hood River, OR area

    For more info: Washington, contact Lee, at KI7SS@arrl.net, or Paul, atpaultkc7la@hotmail.com

    Oregon, contact Ben at bradley@reed.edu

    Rallies marked with * are Pro-rally status; others are Club (formerly Divisional) rallies.

    -- Paul Taylor, KC7LA

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    The Big Test

    While visiting England, George Bush is invited to tea with the Queen. He asks her what her leadership philosophy is. She says that it is to surround herself with intelligent people. He asks how she knows if they're intelligent. "I do so by asking them the right questions," says the Queen. "Allow me to demonstrate."

    She phones Tony Blair and says, "Mr. Prime Minister. Please answer this question: "Your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or sister. Who is it?" Tony Blair responds, "It's me, ma'am." "Correct. Thank you and good-bye, sir," says the Queen. She hangs up and says, "Did you get that, Mr. Bush?" "Yes ma'am. Thanks a lot. I'll definitely be using that!"

    Upon returning to Washington, he decides he'd better put the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the test. He summons Jesse Helms to the White House and says, "Senator Helms, I wonder if you can answer a question for me."

    "Why, of course, sir. What's on your mind?" "Uhh, your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or your sister. Who is it?" Helms hems and haws and finally asks, "Can I think about it and get back to you?" Bush agrees, and Helms leaves.

    Helms immediately calls a meeting of other senior Republican senators, and they puzzle over the question for several hours, but nobody can come up with an answer.

    Finally, in desperation, Helms calls Colin Powell at the State Department and explains his problem. "Now look here, son, your mother has a child, and your father has a child, and this child is not your brother or your sister. Who is it?" Powell answers immediately, "It's me, of course, you idiot."

    Much relieved, Helms rushes back to the White House and exclaims, "I know the answer, sir! I know who it is! It's Colin Powell!"

    And Bush replies in disgust, "Wrong, it's Tony Blair."

    -- from "Joke of the Day"

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    ARRL Study Panel Recommends Eliminating Novice Bands

    The ARRL Novice Spectrum Study Committee has recommended that the ARRL petition the FCC to eliminate the CW novice subbands and allow Novice and Technician with element 1 credit licensees to operate CW on the general 80, 40, 15 and 10 meter CW allocations at up to 200 W output. The panel suggested recognizing portions of those bands for "slow CW operation" to aid new CW operators in enhancing their skills. The committee recommended re-farming the current Novice/Tech Plus subbands in part to allow expansion of the phone allocations on 80, 40 and 15 meters.

    The committee's complete report will be presented to the ARRL Board of Directors for consideration during its annual meeting in January. The committee's determinations were based on opinions expressed by 4744 respondents to an ARRL Novice Spectrum Study survey launched in June. Those expressing their opinions included ARRL members and nonmembers. Nearly 61% of those responding were Extra class licensees.

    The committee, chaired by ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, has been studying the status and usage of the Novice/Technician Plus HF bands with an eye toward determining appropriate changes in usage of that spectrum now that the FCC no longer issues new Novice licenses. A guiding principle was that no class of licensees would lose any privileges as a result of re-farming.

    The committee recommended expanding the phone bands in accordance with the most popular of the survey choices offered -- three for 80, 40 and 15 meters and two for 10 meters. Here's a summary:

    * On 80 meters, nearly 40% of those responding opted for a plan that would extend the US phone allocation to 3700 kHz, with Extras permitted on the entire sub-band, and with Advanced and General class sub-bands starting at 3725 and 3800 kHz respectively.

    * On 40 meters, nearly half of the respondents picked the plan to extend the primary US phone allocation to 7125 kHz, with Extra and Advanced licensees allowed on the entire segment and Generals from 7175 kHz and up. (The committee's report suggested no changes to the special allocations for amateurs on certain Pacific or Caribbean islands and in Alaska.)

    * On 15 meters, nearly half of those responding wanted the US phone allocation extended to 21175 kHz, with Extras permitted on the entire allocation, and Advanced and General sub-bands beginning at 21200 and 21250 kHz respectively.

    * On 10 meters -- where Novice and Tech Plus licensees already may operate CW, RTTY and data from 28100 to 28300 kHz, nearly 55% of the respondents favored a plan to retain the US phone allocation from 28300 to 29700 kHz and to extend CW access to Novice/Tech Plus operators to 28000 kHz -- an additional 100 kHz. The current Tech Plus 28300 to 28500 kHz phone segment would be retained.

    -- ARRL Bulletin ARLB055

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    New Amateur Extra class question pool released

    The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators' Question Pool Committee has released a revised and expanded Amateur Extra class (Element 4) question pool into the public domain. The new question pool becomes effective July 1, 2002, and must be used to generate all Extra class written examinations administered on or after that date. It replaces the Extra class question pool released April 15, 2000 -- the day Amateur Radio "restructuring" became effective.

    The new Element 4 pool expands the number of questions by more than 20 percent -- 806 questions -- as opposed to 665 in the current Extra class pool, and it contains more technical material. More than half of the questions cover electrical principles, circuits, signals and emissions.

    The 50 questions in an Extra class examination are drawn from the question pool consistent with FCC rules and according to a formula that specifies the number of questions to be asked from each of nine topic areas. Applicants must correctly answer at least 37 questions to pass.

    The new Element 4 question pool is available on the ARRL Web site, http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pools.html. The just-released Extra class question pool will remain valid through June 30, 2005.

    The Question Pool Committee now will turn its attention to developing an outline for the Technician class (Element 2) question pool. A draft Element 2 syllabus is scheduled for public release and comment next spring. The QPC invites suggestions for the Element 2 syllabus and question pool revision.

    -- ARRL Bulletin ARLB053

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