Watts News

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

 March 2002
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

  •  President's Column
  •  March OARS meeting: John Sonnen on amateur tower regulations
  •  OARS Radio Camp for young people
  •  Minutes of January 23 OARS Meeting
  •  Minutes of February 26 OARS Meeting
  •  Treasurer's Report
  •  Vice President's Soapbox
  •  OARS Net check-ins
  •  Bill Fill, KD5IC, celebrates 90th birthday
  •  Senior personals
  •  My Forgetter

  • --back to OARS main page

    Another month has rolled around and we are nearing the end of another legislative session, but we do need to think about what we would like to do about a statewide antenna bill. There was considerable discussion about this issue at the last 2 monthly OARS meetings and it seems like something that the club would like to pursue, but it does need to be a concerted and continuous effort with as many other clubs in the state as can be interested in this effort. To that end, we are looking for a volunteer to step forward and lead this effort.

    While we are on the subject of antenna laws, it has come to our attention that Thurston County has a draft law (53 pages) that is aimed at cell phone towers, but under which they believe that according to John Sonnen, Senior Planner, "chapter means 20.33 (everything you have). My understanding is that we can control the setbacks and location of amateur radio support structures. See the following federal regulations:"

    We are currently looking into this issue and will have more information by the next monthly meeting. This is an effort which OARS need to influence as soon as possible and as usual, we would like a volunteer to lead this effort.

    While I am on the subject of volunteers, we would like someone to step forward and manage the weekly OARS Information Net. The duties would mainly be to arrange for someone to run the net each week. This is a position which we used to have that has been vacant for a couple of years now. 

    73 and see you on March 27, Thurston County Courthouse Complex Building 1, Room 152 (not room 280 as previously announced).

    -- Ken Dahl, K7TAG

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    March OARS meeting: John Sonnen on amateur tower regulations

    Thurston County senior planner John Sonnen will be the speaker at the March meeting. See the Vice President's column inside for details.

    We need to make a good showing, so be sure to attend to hear what he has to say, and to provide you own inputs.

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    OARS Radio Camp for young people

    Radio Camp Agenda

    The Olympia Amateur Radio Society is presenting a 5-day program for young people, called Radio Camp. Radio Camp will be offered the 4th week in June (June 17-21,) immediately before ham radio's weekend "Field Day" emergency preparedness exercise. 

    Students will be encouraged to participate in the Olympia Amateur Radio Society's (OARS's) Field Day effort, held on the state capitol campus (just north of the Information Center on Capitol Way) on Saturday June 22 and Sunday June 23. Radio Camps' agenda and process is: 

    Monday 9 a.m.: Radio Camp begins at the Chambers "studio" at 908 Narnia Lane NW, Olympia. The class will view the American Radio Relay League's training videotape series, except that wherever logical we will stop the tape and demonstrate the topics being discussed. 

    Class will end for the day at 4 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break from noon to one, and begin anew at 9 a.m. the following morning. 

    The classroom structure will be students seated in a ¾ circle around the teacher, with several TV's around the immediate outside of the teacher, between the students and the teacher, with the teacher at a table (top of a console TV) on which there will be demonstration equipment. 

    Along the walls behind each student will be tables for the students to conduct their own lab assignments. There are ten tables. The class is limited to 30 students; they'll work in groups of three. 

    It is well known that kids don't like to - or simply, can't - sit still for long periods. To accommodate this fact we will alternate classroom and videotape training sessions with breaks and as soon as possible, lab experiments. No single training session will last more than half an hour, and everyone is encouraged to stand and walk around whenever they wish. A large selection of pops / juices / fruits will be at hand for students to snack on, as they wish. 

    Each lab table has a volt-ohm-ammeter and an assortment of resistors. Using these meters, each group of three will divine the values of the electronic components provided. Then, using a 9-volt battery, they will build series and parallel circuits and learn how voltages divide and recombine to become the total value of the battery. 

    An oscilloscope will be used to demonstrate resonance. 

    In another session the students will be taught to solder. (It is planned to have an instructor at each table while the students are taught to solder. And, all students soldering are required to wear eye protection.) 

    In another (several) sessions a simple kit receiver will be built by each student. 

    Once the class has seen the tapes, a process that will take until the end of the day Wednesday, they'll go to at least three other ham's homes and see the stations, discuss radios and radio operation, and operate several stations. 

    "Field Day" is an annual event the majority of hams in the country participate in. Members of the class will be invited to help build and operate the Field Day station. 

    We anticipate coordinating an FCC test session Friday afternoon, but this is dependent on the availability of volunteer examiners on a Friday. 

    Students who are Boy Scouts will earn the Radio merit badge upon completion of radio camp. 

    Students who want to camp out can do so on the property. 

    Costs: $20 / day; $100 total. This cost includes lunches and the training manual "Now You're Talking," a $19 +tax cost at Radio Shack, Radio Depot, or the publisher (the ARRL.) Not included is the FCC test. Each test session is $10, payable separately to the Volunteer Examiner Group that administers the test. 

    The cutoff date for registration is May 15.

    -- Lee Chambers, KI7SS

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    Minutes of January 23 OARS Meeting

    The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM by President Ken Dahl, K7TAG. There were 25 present.

    New Business

    Program The meeting closed at 9 PM.

    -- Helen Hannigan, KB7JDL, Secretary

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    Minutes of February 26 OARS Meeting

    The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM by President Ken Dahl, K7TAG. There were 41 present.

    New Business

    Minutes were passed out; no action taken. In the future, minutes will be published by George Lanning, KB6LE, in Watts News.

    Old Business

    Program Mike Colyar, K7ITL, "FT-817 HF Portable" -- walking around and contacting all states.

    Wally Music, W7UUO, demonstrated a fold-up antenna for camping.

    The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

    Respectfully submitted,

    -- Helen Hannigan, KB7JDL, secretary

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    Treasurer's Report

    As of 2/28/02

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance   $ 2,464.71
            Income             227.91
            Expenses             0.00
        Ending balance       2,692.62

    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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    Vice President's Soapbox

    The spring event season is upon us again! Our weekend to-do list reads like this, and probably you know of events that should be here too (please let me know what I've missed!):

    Technician Class -- Saturday March 30; Saturday April 13th
    Mock Search -- weekend of May 4-5
    YMCA 10 K run -- Saturday May 4th
    EMS walk -- Sunday May 12th 
    Statewide SAR Conference -- Friday - Sunday May 17-18-19 
    Capitol City Marathon -- Sunday May 19 
    Road Rally -- Sat-Sun June 15-16 
    Radio Camp -- Week of June 17-21 
    Ham Radio Field Day -- Sat-Sun June 22-23 
    Lakefair Parade -- Saturday July 20th
    Technician Class -- Saturday July 27th ; Saturday August 10th
    Diabetes Horse-A-Thon -- August 3?
    Not to mention the monthly OARS meetings on the 4th Wednesday or each month.

    So. I've got my usual spreadsheet up and running, showing who's doing what. Please let me know if you can help with any of these events and I'll get you scheduled on the lists, and you can plan for FUN with radios on that day! 

    Of major, even overriding, importance is the upcoming OARS meeting, wherein we'll get to tell the Senior Thurston County Planner (who writes the building codes) why any ordinances that affect our antenna tower construction, setbacks or heights should be written to be as supportive and generous as possible, not as minimalist or restrictive as possible. We need him to understand the spirit of the FCC's PRB-1 and our own state's WAC 35.21.315, 35A.21.260, and especially 36.32.600. This (last) WAC says "No county shall enact or enforce an ordinance or regulation that fails to conform to the limited preemption entitled 'Amateur Radio Preemption, 101 FCC 2nd 952 (1985)' issued by the Federal Communications Commission. An ordinance or regulation adopted by a county with respect to amateur radio antennas shall conform to the limited federal preemption, that states local regulations that involve placement, screening, or height of antennas based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations must be crafted to reasonably accommodate amateur communications, and to represent the minimal practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority's legitimate purpose."

    That sounds pretty good, but it's not as strong as it needs to be. These planners take the position that the law's not been tested, and until it is tested and found sound by court, it doesn't have any real teeth. 

    So, we're in need of a showing that there is a large, active ham club, that it meets regularly, that it has the willingness to speak on behalf of the 1000 or so hams in the county, and that our position is logical and we're willing to fight for it. We need to show that towers are an important part of ham radio today -- that absent them the hobby might fade away, and with it, the good work we do -- work typically represented by the list at the top of this page, by the history of communications support during incidents like the earthquake, and by the presence of so much ham equipment in the EOC and Comm Van and housed in public-agency owned spaces like the eastside water tower and Crawford Mt. location. That equipment is there because of understandings between we hams and law enforcement; we are an important tool, and not just during an emergency!

    Thus we need to see your smiling faces Wednesday March 27th at the OARS monthly meeting, lending credence to the statement that "ham radio is alive and well!"

    How many of you know of the Hiram Percy Maxim Award? This Award is presented annually to an enthusiastic and active amateur licensee aged 21 or younger, whose contributions to Amateur Radio and the community are of the most exemplary nature. This ham demonstrates excellence by being involved in recruiting new hams through demonstrations as well as by example to his or her peers; on the air and/or at public service activities; employing technical ingenuity to further Amateur Radio; public relations activities; and participating in local, state and national organizations. There is a $1000 award and an engraved plaque for the recipient.

    I nominated one of ours, Tiffany, KD7KHE, for the award this year. Tiffany is a senior at North Thurston High School and has started a ham club there. She's got eight people, and her teacher, interested and enrolled in the upcoming Technician class. In addition, Tiffany has been active in the last several road rallies and she is an active participant in the Tuesday night Youth Net at 9 p.m. She's doing well in school; I saw her at a presentation she did as part of her Government class on the capitol campus in the Cherburg building, and she has a confident, clear voice. Her on-air persona is great! Unfortunately our Wednesday night OARS meetings conflict with her church meetings or you'd be seeing more of her. But when you hear her on the air, be sure to compliment her for her outstanding work! Nominations close in a week or so and it'll be months before we know who won this year's award. Cross your fingers for her, too!

    The OARS tables at the Puyallup Hamfest were quite successful. If you went you know we displayed both our OARS banners, making us the most-visible table on the second floor. I had fun selling a few things and helping provide a place for everyone in the club to sell their stuff. Almost everything went, big-ticket or small. So, we'll do it again next year. Maybe better. I'd like to have a tv/vcr playing images of OARS activities. I need someone to take charge of this video documentation. Do you have a camcorder and interest in using it? We could sure use a year's worth of documentation of all the things we're involved in!

    Until next month, 73! 

    -- Lee, KI7SS

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    OARS Net check-ins

    The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net on either February 19 or 26, or both:


    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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    Bill Fill, KD5IC, celebrates 90th birthday

    Happy Birthday Bill, and congratulations! -- Ed.

    Sunday, March 3, 2002 a 90th birthday party was given for William (Bill) Fill at Agora, Conway, AR. by Dora Anna Fill and Kittie Aaron. The following children, grand children and great grand children attended:

    Grace L. Fill, IL.
    Dr. William Fill, WA.
    Joe, Gail & Justin Fill, IN.
    Drs. James Fill & Anita Tarzian, MD.
    John Fill, CA.
    Paul & Dawn Graziani, AR.
    Joel & Deborah Graziani, MI.
    Kittie Aaron, AR.
    Jason, Mistee & Emilee Aaron, AR.
    Eddie, Karen. Sarah & Alex Green, AR
    Stacy & Duffy Mattox, AR.
    Cody, Adam & Ashlyn, AR
    A sister, Irma Mongold, NY. that he had not seen for about 20 years. And many friends.

    The food table was decorated with a large mixed flower arrangement. The following was served: punch and coffee, finger sandwiches, cheese cubes, deviled eggs, mini sausages and mini pizza and mixed nuts.

    The cake was decorated with pictures of Bill as a young boy, on a horse playing polo, a formal picture and a center picture of Bill skiing on one ski. Serving the cake was Kittie Aaron, serving the beverages was Myrtle Wynne, and assisting at the table was Dawn Graziani. The guest were given a token box with "Thank you for coming" filled with chocolates.

    A surprise entertainment was a belly dancer.

    Saturday night a barbecue was held for the family at the Fill home. 

    -- Dora Anna Fill, NI5D

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    Senior personals

    Some "Senior" personal ads seen in Florida and Arizona newspapers: (Who sez seniors don't have a sense of humor?)

    FOXY LADY: Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty, 80's, slim, 5'-4" (used to be 5-6), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion. Matching white shoes and belt a plus.

    LONG-TERM COMMITMENT: Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband looking for someone to round out a six unit plot. Dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath not a problem.

    SERENITY NOW: I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga and meditation. If you are the silent type, let's get together, take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times.

    WINNING SMILE: Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy. 

    BEATLES OR STONES? I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights and still like to play the air guitar. If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let's get together and listen to my boss collection of eight-track tapes.

    MEMORIES: I can usually remember Monday through Thursday. If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let's put our two heads together. 

    MINT CONDITION: Male, 1932, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves. Isn't in running condition, but walks well.

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    My Forgetter

    My forgetter's getting better
    But my rememberer is broke
    To you that may seem funny
    But, to me, that is no joke

    For when I'm "here" I'm wondering
    If I really should be "there"
    And, when I try to think it through,
    I haven't got a prayer!

    Oft times I walk into a room,
    Say, "what am I here for?"
    I wrack my brain, but all in vain
    A zero, is my score.

    At times I put something away
    Where it is safe, but, Gee!
    The person it is safest from
    Is, generally, me!

    When shopping I may see someone,
    Say "Hi" and have a chat,
    Then, when the person walks away
    I ask myself "who was that?"

    Yes, my forgetter's getting better
    While my rememberer is broke,
    And it's driving me plumb crazy
    And that isn't any joke.

    Please send this to everyone you know, because...

    -- via packet from David ZL3AI

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    --back to OARS main page