ARRL Special Service ClubWatts News

Monthly Newsletter of the

Olympia Amateur Radio Society

P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507

  May 2004
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

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From the Oval ShackGreetings from the Oval Shack

I want to thank everyone who showed up at the April meeting. It was a very spirited affair, and I learned a lot. Kudos to our EC, Tom KA4VVA, for his very informative talk on nets. Hopefully this month's program on the National Traffic System will be just as informative. Allen Rivers, W7QM, has graciously agreed to be a guest speaker for portions of that program to help me out. He is the manager of the Washington State Net, the CW evening section net for the Western Washington and Eastern Washington sections. He also is very active in the digital aspects of NTS, and is a regular on the Brass Pounder's League roster. Welcome, Allen.

By the time you read this article, the 2004 Capital City Marathon should have been a success. Lee, KI7SS, took the lead again in providing communications for Marathon officials. As a participant in the half marathon this year, I would like to thank Lee and all participants in this far-reaching communications feat.

Speaking of operating activities, Field Day is next month. Coordinate all proposed activities through KI7SS. I guarantee a fun time will be had by all!

I am coordinating the annual OARS Field Day potluck at 1800 on Saturday June 26. Please join us for an outstanding culinary and social event, even if you can't participate in all the rest of the Field Day activities. If your last name begins with:

A-F bring a salad

G-M bring a dessert

N-S bring a main dish

T-Z bring bread/beverage.

OARS will provide plates, plastic utensils, glasses, and a ham. You should plan on bringing your favorite outside seating. And please bring your family.

Yesterday I submitted OARS' Special Service Club renewal application to the ARRL. It is you, the active member, that maintains OARS as a national leader in amateur public service activities and communications excellence. Thank you.

The Broadband over Power Line (BPL) issue is not going away any time in this decade, I think, so I am still getting up to speed technically as to all of its ramifications. Last meeting the general membership unanimously approved the issuance of an "anti-BPL" letter to Washington's Senator Cantwell. I should have that letter out within the week.

I was thinking.... This club operates in literally dozens of public service events during the year. Between the great road rallies, Field Day, Capital City Marathon, and the myriad of ARES/RACES activities throughout the year, OARS is VERY public service oriented.

Me myself, I also try to participate in the OARS public service events when I can, and I am an integral part of the National Traffic System in the Pacific Area. ARES and NTS are only two of the areas in which ham radio operators all over the country serve the public.

Why do we do it? Why do OARS members devote COUNTLESS hours to public service administrative tasks? Why does our EC keep up the web site? Why does our DEC devote such a substantial portion of his life to public service? Why do each of us contribute so many volunteer hours to helping ham radio operations during public service events?

Simple -- it feels good. A couple months ago I delivered an NTS message to a woman in Yelm from her uncle in Minnesota. She was so grateful and happy that I delivered the message to her. It was a great feeling to make someone's day like that. There is no better feeling in the world. Each and every day members of OARS contribute their time to public service activities for the good of their community. Good job. Thank you. Keep it up.


-- Leroy, N7EIE

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Treasurer's Report

As of 4/30/04

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

    Previous balance $ 375.62

        Income            .08

        Expenses         5.00

    Ending balance     370.70

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

    Previous balance $ 976.76

        Income           0.00

        Expenses         0.00

    Ending balance     976.76

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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Circle Flies

A farmer got pulled over by a traffic cop for speeding. The cop started to lecture the farmer about his speeding, and in general began to throw his weight around to try to make the farmer feel uncomfortable.

Finally, the cop got around to writing out the ticket. As he was doing that, he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head. The farmer said, "Having some problem with circle flies there, are ya?"

The cop stopped writing the ticket and said, "Well yeah, if that's what they are. I never heard of circle flies."

So the farmer says, "Well, circle flies are common on farms. See, they're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."

The cop says "Oh" and goes back to writing the ticket. Then after a minute, he stops and says, "Are you trying to call me a horses's ass?"

The farmer says, "Oh no, officer. I have too much respect for law enforcement and police officers to even think about calling you a horse's ass."

The cop says, "Well that's a good thing," and goes back to writing the ticket.

After a long pause, the farmer says, "Hard to fool them flies, though."

-- from W1GMF, via packet

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Message from Ed Bruette N7NVP

To members of the Western WA ARRL Section

There are two pages on the ARRL web site that I would like to call to your attention. Both deal with BPL or, internet access via Broadband over Power Lines. The first page reports that President Bush recently made a speech in Minneapolis that included comments indicating BPL is a solution for broadband service in rural areas. Please visit http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/04/27/1/?nc=1 and read the story. I encourage you to follow up and write to the White House and your Congressmen and ask them to put a stop to BPL until an implementation can be found that does not cause interference to licensed services. The page at http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/cta/ contains amplifying information and links to sample letters.

The second page that deserves your attention is the one that announces the NTIA BPL report has been released. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is the agency that advises the White House on telecommunications issues. The URL is http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/04/29/1/?nc=1. Their report is long and technical. A summary is contained on the ARRL page listed in this paragraph.

CQ Magazine has a "BPL Info Central" at http://www.cq-vhf.com/BPL.html. It too has background information and letter writing guides to Congress.

The Radio Club of Tacoma will sponsor a General Class course beginning May 10th for five Monday evenings. The course is free, the book is $15. This will be the last class before the new question pool goes into effect on July 1st. The new question pool appears to be more difficult than the current one. Contact for details:

Jerry W7BUN, 253-845-7652 or email to w7bun@wa.net.

Please share this information with your Ham friends who are not on distribution for this email. All the URLs in this message are available to non-ARRL members.

And don't forget, the Section News web page at www.arrl.org/sect/wwa is our page. If there is information that you feel should be on the page, please send it to me for consideration. Thank you.

-- ARRL Western Washington Section Manager Edward W. Bruette, N7NVP

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HPL is Coming to an Outlet Near You!

-- Richy Russo (KB2CPW) on May 11, 2004

Hi -- Rich here,

I've come up with a real neat idea, but I am relying on the fine members of eHam to produce the hardware (since I am too stupid to do that myself). Anyway, I would like to create an interface that will allow the transmission of amateur RF over power lines, hence "HPL technology," obviously meaning >>>hamming over power lines<<<.

Just think, no limits to the amount of power you could run (with a proper RF to AC mains interface) and since it's on a closed system, there may not be any rules regarding mode or band!!! Think of the pileups you will break running that old 8 foot tall Collins military 20-KW amp into your fuse box for an added kick!

As we know, power lines can carry a signal quite far and since it's a "closed system" and the power people already worked out the bugs. And I am SURE they won't mind sharing the technology with us hams.

Ham Heaven!!! No lousy covenants, silly antenna restrictions, unsightly towers or a homeowners association to deal with. No smelly coax or cables to be run around the house. The wife will be thrilled with this exciting new way of hamming! In fact, it gives grid squares and phased antennas a whole new meaning!

The beauty of this is that the power companies admitted that the system is flawless, the FCC's distinguished Mr. Powell (a well known engineer for many years and electronics inventor BTW, I forget his call sign... Please remind me) agrees with them 100 percent and hams are assured and should not fear any problems with the up and coming BPL system. In short this means >>>>no interference<<<< on our precious ham bands!!!

For those fuddy-duddies not willing to move into the 21st century of ham radio, you will still have the old way of operation available to you. But this is just the boost Amateur radio needed, new technology and more spectrum thru our AC outlets. We can now combine our HF gear with our computers so we can work that net and log 'em at the same time. Want to go portable, just find an outlet somewhere and set up shop.

I sure hope that W4RT, MFJ and some of the other manufacturers can supply an interface allowing us to spread our amateur good will thru the walls of America.

I hope to hear you soon on HPL...

73 and 60Hz to you and your families, N2ZD

-- from eHam.net, via Paul KC7LA

[You can find a link to eHamnet on the OARS website]

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Info Byte

This was found on Belden's website: http://bwcecom.belden.com/college/Cable101/connector/glossary.htm "BNC: Abbreviation for 'Bayonet-Neil-Concelman.' A coaxial cable connector used extensively in video and R.F. applications and named for its inventors."

The Belden site is full of knowledge and useful information - a good reference source.

-- Chuck Lund, K7VRE

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ARRL supports FCC's cognitive radio technology proposals with reservations

The ARRL says it generally supports the proposals contained in an FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order (NPRM&O), ET Docket 03-108 relating to so-called cognitive radio (CR) technology. But the League urged the FCC to avoid large-scale deployment of CR technology -- and especially of unlicensed devices in spectrum regularly used by licensed services -- "until further experience with the technology is obtained." The ARRL also strenuously objected to a proposal to allow cognitive radio technology devices to operate under Part 15 in "rural areas" at up to a sixfold increase in the currently permitted power level in several UHF bands that include amateur allocations.

"ARRL opposes increases of power levels for undefined and undefinable 'rural areas,'" the League's comments said, "because the practical radio horizon at higher Part 15 power levels makes interference with the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite service operations in many frequency bands inevitable." The FCC seeks to allow a transmitter power increase of up to six times (approximately 8 dB) higher than current Part 15 limits in the 902-928, 2400-2483.5 and 5725-5825 MHz band and in the 24 GHz band.

The League said the Commission should not view cognitive radio as an opportunity to increase permissible Part 15 power levels and questioned why the FCC was willing to put forth such proposals "without the slightest real-world test deployment" of the systems it wants to authorize.

A "cognitive radio" is one that "can change its transmitter parameters based on interaction with the environment in which it operates," the FCC's NPRMO says. "This interaction may involve active negotiation or communications with other spectrum users and/or passive sensing and decision making within the radio." Most cognitive radios will be software defined radios (SDRs), the League predicted.

"There is no need for separate rules regarding cognitive and software defined radios," the ARRL said, calling both "an excellent opportunity" to drive technological advancement within Amateur Radio. "They should and can be regulated within the existing rules." The ARRL also urged the FCC to avoid creating regulatory obstacles that would hamper "experimentation and flexibility in conducting amateur operations."

"These technologies will allow ever-greater participation by amateurs in restoration of communications systems following a wide-area emergency or disaster and in conducting disaster relief efforts on site in coordination with served agencies," the League predicted.

-- ARRL Bulletin ARLB016

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You might be from the Pacific Northwest if:

-- submitted by Leroy, N7EIE

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OARS Net check-ins

The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net one or more times in the month of April 2004:


* Net Control Stations

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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Another Puzzle

Here is one that is quite a bit easier than the puzzle printed two months ago. -- Ed.

All the vowels, A E I O U, but not Y, have been removed from the following proverb. The remaining letters have been kept in their proper order, but put in groups of three letters each. What is the well known proverb?


Answer next month.

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At one time in my life, I thought I had a handle on the meaning of the word "service": "The act of doing things for other people." Then I heard the terms:

and I became confused about the word "service." This is not what I thought "service" meant.

Then today, I overheard two farmers talking and one of them mentioned that he was having a bull over to "service" a few of his cows.

SHAZAM! It all came into perspective. Now I understand what all those "service" agencies are doing to us. I hope you are now as enlightened as I am.

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