Watts News

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

  July 2003
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

  •  From the Oval Shack
  •  Charles A. Al Wyndham, W7BWG
  •  New Olympia area Ham looking for starter HT
  •  OARS Picnic August 27
  •  ARRL becomes an affiliate program of Citizen Corps
  •  Oxymorons
  •  ARRL files comments, studies in Broadband Over Power Line proceeding
  •  Treasurer's Report
  •  RCT Hamfest
  •  OARS Net check-ins
  •  Real-Life Classified Ads
  •  7 MHz realignment compromise makes radio history
  •  Legal minds at work
  •  Improved English
  •  5 MHz allocation update
  •  Vanishing act
  •  Notes from the VP

  • --back to OARS home page

    Well, Field Day is over for another year, and I think that the one just past was among our best ever. The weather certainly cooperated even if band conditions were not the best, but we still ended up with a very respectable score as compared with previous years. And it was definitely a great potluck dinner on Saturday evening.

    I would like to thank everyone who participated in setting up, operating, tearing down, and even those who just came for the dinner. I know that everyone who was there had a great time.

    We got some good exposure for our event with the local press and some of our emergency communications customers like the Sheriff's Office and the American Red Cross which gives our hobby some visibility in the community. 

    We are now in the throes of getting ready for the Capital Lakefair parade, where our responsibilities have again expanded because this year in addition to running the parade itself, we are responsible for the sound systems at the announcer's stands. Luckily, we have prevailed upon Tom, KA4VVA, to help us plan and organize this event, so I think that we are well prepared, and with most of us wearing our new vests, we will increase our visibility at the event.

    Coming up on September 6 and 7 is the Wild West Pro Rally which is a very large international rally. This is the first rally of this magnitude staged in this area for a long time. This event is going to require many ham radio operators -- about 36 on Saturday and 35 on Sunday. If you or any one you know is interested in helping, please contact Lee, KI7SS to volunteer your services.

    Finally, I will be unable to attend this month's club meeting July 23, but I know that Lee has a great program planned for you, and I will see you all in August.


    -- Ken Dahl, K7TAG

    --back to Table of Contents

    Charles A. "Al" Wyndham, W7BWG

    Our recent Field Day Class 3A setup included the Club's recently acquired TS-930-S transceiver as the third station. OARS members should know and acknowledge that the rig, along with some miscellaneous stuff, was donated by Charles A . "Al" Wyndham, W7BWG, a resident of Panorama City in Lacey. 

    When visual acuity became a problem in 1991, Al moved to our area from San Juan Island. Now aged 95, he's managed to participate in two 75-meter nets from his small apartment despite antenna problems. Most recently, a Hustler mobile mounted on an outside railing (with 60-foot counterpoise!) let him get out on SSB with the TS-930 well enough to be heard by his San Juan Islands ham friends and others. However, this came to an end when strokes required Al's present relocation to the convalescent area of Panorama City and put W7BWG off the air.

    Al is a lifetime bachelor. His varied career included Alaska in the cannery business. Later he moved to Bellingham before retirement to the islands, and finally to Lacey. Licensed way before WW2, Al was of course a confirmed CW man, but kept up with the times, and despite severe sight and hearing limitations, he enjoyed SSB as well, Always creative, Al had made his own automatic key (bug) and hand key. In perfect working condition, these may now be seen at the radio museum in Bellingham.

    Al fortunately has a niece here in Lacey, Judy Whipple. She and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Dwight Whipple (retired pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church) keep an eye on Al, who's still "with it"! 

    Amateurs like Al have contributed much to our hobby. Back when ham radio was all make-it-yourself and do-it-yourself, it called for dedication and appreciation of radio's wonders. The fumes of hot solder, the reassuring glow of filaments (not to forget caution around high voltage power supplies) are just nostalgia now! We old timers look back wistfully.

    -- Jack Barber, W1PRT/7

    --back to Table of Contents

    New Olympia area Ham looking for starter HT

    Jared Hedrick, AC7WH, obtained his first Amateur license last November, and is hoping to find a used 2 meter HT to get started with repeater operations. If you know of someone who is willing to part with an HT for $100 or less, please get in touch with Jared by phone at 412-8151, or email ac7wh@truthmail.com.

    Jared went from no license to Extra class at a single testing session -- quite an accomplishment! We look forward to his participation in the hobby.

    --back to Table of Contents

    OARS Picnic August 27

    In place of the regular OARS meeting in August, we will have a potluck picnic at the home of Jeff, W3GE, and Lisa, KB7PNX. Drinks are at 5 PM; dinner starts at 6 PM. Everyone is welcome. Hamburgers will be provided by Jeff; everyone else is requested to bring a potluck dish.

    If your last name begins with: A-E bring a dessert, F-M bring a salad, N-S bring bread/beverage, R-Z bring a main dish.

    Jeff and Lisa live 12 miles south of Olympia. Go south on I-5, take exit 88, which is Hwy 12 West toward Aberdeen. Turn right off the freeway, right at the traffic lights, (which is north on Elderberry St.) and straight until it dead-ends at 193rd. Turn right (east) on 193rd Ave. We are the 3rd house on the left (painted white), with a 70 ft. antenna tower. Mailbox says 6010. Only 1/4 mile from the freeway, all told.

    We plan to start early and stay late, join us!

    --back to Table of Contents

    ARRL becomes an affiliate program of Citizen Corps 

    ARRL now is an official affiliate program of Citizen Corps, an initiative within the Department of Homeland Security to enhance public preparedness and safety. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, signed a formal Statement of Affiliation between DHS and ARRL during the ARRL 2003 National Convention June 21 in Dallas, Texas. 

    Chief Operating Officer of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate (FEMA) Ron Castleman represented DHS at the signing. Citizen Corps Liaison to the White House Liz DiGregorio called ham radio operators the "first of the first responders."

    "You are there. You are part of that very, very first response when it happens locally," especially in the initial stages of an emergency or disaster, DiGregorio told the overflow audience at the signing ceremony. She urged amateurs to explore ways to expand their role in the community beyond being the last resort when other communication systems fail. "You need to show your community that you're engaged," she said. "They need to know as a community that ARRL is there."

    Among other things, the affiliation statement calls on DHS and ARRL to raise public awareness of Amateur Radio as a safety resource. In addition, DHS and ARRL will cooperate in providing training and accreditation for Amateur Radio emergency communications and promote the formation of local Citizen Corps councils.

    -- ARRL Bulletin ARLB041

    --back to Table of Contents


    Oxy-mo-ron \ ockcee-mor-on \ n: a combination of contradictory or inconsistent words. Examples: jumbo shrimp, definite possibility, or "10k fun run."

    -- from David, ZL3AI, via packet

    --back to Table of Contents

    ARRL files comments, studies in Broadband Over Power Line proceeding

    Pointing to a potential for interference to and from Amateur Radio, the ARRL has called on the FCC to "take no steps" to permit Broadband over Power Line (BPL). The League's 120-page filing, which includes several lab studies, was in response to the FCC's BPL Notice of Inquiry in ET Docket 03-104, published May 23.

    ARRL said the Amateur Service should not be "gored with the double-edged sword of an incompatible service" that will at once cause widespread interference and preclude any future changes in the amateur HF allocations.

    Citing "diligent and exhaustive research," ARRL concluded that BPL must avoid any and all amateur MF, HF and VHF allocations without exception. "This interference potential, as a matter of both law and fact, disqualifies access BPL as a potential future competitive broadband delivery system," the ARRL said in its comments. 

    League studies show received signal levels of BPL broadband noise at typical amateur stations would be anywhere from 33.7 dB to 65.4 dB higher than typical ambient noise levels in worst-case situations.

    -- ARRL Bulletin ARLB043

    --back to Table of Contents

    Treasurer's Report

    As of 6/30/03

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $2,513.34
            Income               99.10
            Expenses             58.56
        Ending balance        2,553.88

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance       $965.75
            Income                3.66
            Expenses              0.00
        Ending balance          969.41

    -- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

    --back to Table of Contents

    RCT Hamfest

    The Radio Club of Tacoma Hamfest will be held Saturday, August 16, at Bethel Jr. High School in Spanaway. 

    Talk in frequency is 147.38, PL 103.5, or simplex 147.500 MHz.

    --back to Table of Contents

    OARS Net check-ins

    The following 36 stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net one or more times in the month of June 2003:


    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.

    --back to Table of Contents

    Real-Life Classified Ads

    -- from "Joke of the Day"

    --back to Table of Contents

    7 MHz realignment compromise makes radio history

    In an 11th-hour compromise, delegates to World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) agreed to move broadcasters out of 7100 to 7200 kHz in Regions 1 and 3 to make room for the Amateur Service. The expanded worldwide allocation at 40 meters goes into effect on March 29, 2009. Amateurs in the US and the rest of Region 2 will continue to enjoy the 7000 to 7300 kHz band they now have, but with greatly reduced broadcasting interference.

    The compromise marked the first time in the history of internationally coordinated radio spectrum allocation that an HF broadcasting band was shifted to accommodate the needs of another service. The compromise cuts in half the incompatibility between amateur and broadcasting use of the 7 MHz band and doubles the 40-meter spectrum available to amateurs in Regions 1 and 3. 

    While the result falls short of the IARU's goal of a 300-kHz worldwide exclusive band for amateurs, the cooperation of broadcasters, opposing delegates and many others was required to make a positive step for ham radio. Spectrum between 4 and 10 MHz is on the agenda for WRC-07, but further changes to 7000-7200 kHz will not be considered.

    The conference also dropped the international Morse code requirement, leaving individual countries to decide if they want to retain a code proficiency requirement, and adopted a number of improvements to the other international regulations for the amateur service. The delegates also agreed to allow a secondary allocation for satellite borne synthetic aperture radars at 70 cm, and made amateur call sign assignment more flexible.

    -- ARRL Bulletin ARLB045

    --back to Table of Contents

    Legal minds at work

    Two attorneys went into a diner and ordered two drinks. Then they produced sandwiches from their briefcases and started to eat. The owner became quite concerned and marched over and told them, "You can't eat your own sandwiches in here!"

    The attorneys looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders, and then exchanged sandwiches.

    -- from David, ZL3AI, via packet

    --back to Table of Contents

    Improved English

    Movz Afot for a Comon Euro Tung

    The European Union Commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement, and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (EURO for short).

    In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will reseive this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k." Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

    There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replased by "f." This will make words like fotograf 20 per sent shorter.

    In the third year, a publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always been a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

    By the forth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v."

    During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be droped from vords kontaining "ou," and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

    After ze fifz year, ye vil hav a reli sinsibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trobls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. 

    Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

    -- from VK3ASK, via packet

    --back to Table of Contents

    5 MHz allocation update

    When the five new 60-meter channels become available to US Amateur Radio operators at midnight (12 AM) local time on July 3, the rules will impose a new record-keeping requirement for hams. The requirement applies only to those using something other than a simple half-wave dipole on the 5 MHz allocation.

    According to Part 97.303(s), a half-wave dipole on the 5 MHz allocation will be presumed to have a gain of 0 dBd. "Licensees using other antennas must maintain in their station records either manufacturer data on the antenna gain or calculations of the antenna gain," states the newest addition to the FCC's Amateur Service rules.

    Because the new rules also require hams to run no more than 50 W effective radiated power (ERP) on the new channels, the choice of antenna becomes an important compliance factor. The FCC rules stipulate, "For the purpose of computing ERP, the transmitter PEP will be multiplied (by) the antenna gain relative to a dipole or the equivalent calculation in decibels."

    ARRL has posted a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) concerning 5 MHz operation on the ARRL Web site: www.arrl.org/fandes/field/regulations/faq.html #sixty.

    -- ARRL Bulletin ARLB040

    --back to Table of Contents

    Vanishing act

    During a dinner party, the host's two little children entered the dining room totally nude and walked slowly around the table. The parents were so embarrassed that they pretended nothing was happening and kept the conversation going. The guests cooperated and also continued as if nothing extraordinary was happening.

    After going all the way around the room, the children left, and there was a moment of silence at the table, during which one child was heard to say, "you see, it IS vanishing cream!"

    -- from VE7DBK, via packet

    --back to Table of Contents

    Notes from the VP

    The road rally (Sept 6 and 7) will be our biggest ever, requiring 36 hams on Saturday, and 35 on Sunday. The major differences are that many stages will only be run once, and the sanctioning body for this truly international rally is requiring a ham every 3 miles.

    The summer Radio Camp is cancelled. Seems like too many would-be participants have a conflict with another campout.

    There will be another fox hunt the first Saturday in August. The last foxhunt, this past weekend, drew half a dozen hunters. Two found the fox!

    -- Lee Chambers, KI7SS

    --back to Table of Contents
    --back to OARS home page