ARRL Special Service ClubWatts News

Monthly Newsletter of the

Olympia Amateur Radio Society

P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507

  May 2005
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

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From the Oval Shack

Summer is almost upon us, and a busy season it is for both Public Service events and also swap meets -- beginning with the biggest one of them all, the Dayton HamVention on May 20-22 in Dayton, Ohio. I realize that it is a long trip to get there, but I think that it is something that all hams should try to attend at least once in their lifetime.

Through the good fortune of having a son in Michigan (and lots of left over frequent flyer miles), I am again afforded that opportunity this year. If history repeats itself, it will pour down rain at least one of the three days of the event.

The next big thing is the road rally for which ham radio communication is always required. If you are able to assist contact Jerry Julian (360) 943-7009 or jbjulian@comcast.net <mailto:jbjulian@comcast.net>. Jerry is always looking for more Hams. It is a fun experience to watch these cars flying around on the logging roads at high rates of speed.

Then we move on to the largest Ham radio convention in the Pacific Northwest, SEA-PAC, on June 18-19 in Seaside, Oregon. This is a great opportunity to look for some equipment, renew old acquaintances and make some new ones.

This year, OARS with have a couple of tables (donated) at the Flea Market, where the club will sell donated equipment to provide needed funding for our projects, and also allow members to sell their equipment. If you are using the tables to sell personal equipment, we are asking that you donate a portion of the proceeds to the club. In addition, we are requesting that as many members of possible donate some time to manning the tables.

That brings us to the next weekend, June 25-26, which is the annual ARRL Field Day. We will again be on the Capitol Campus, a location that not only gives us great scenery and easy access, but also provides good exposure to the local community.

This year we have invited the members of the Thurston County SAR Council to join us for the annual Saturday evening potluck with the hope that exposing more of them to the joys of Ham radio will entice as many as possible to get their license.

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office will again be providing us with the use of their comm van and Intel will be bringing down theirs also. Since we will again be running a 3A station, this just leaves us with the need for one more operating position. If you or someone you know would like to provide us with a motor home to use for the weekend, please let us know.

That brings us to July and the annual Capitol Lakefair parade on Saturday, July 16, which the OARS club stages and runs. Tom Dennis, KA4VVA is in charge of this event and would welcome any and all volunteers.

We are now into August, and historically our August Meeting has been a picnic. I would like to know if that is what we would like to do again this year and if someone would step forward to coordinate this event. Thanks in advance for the assistance.

I look forward to seeing everyone at our May 25th meeting where our guest speaker with be Ward Silver, N0AX, author of "Ham Radio for Dummies." Ward will be presenting a program called HF Antennas 101. He will also be offering copies of his book for sale, and can autograph them for you. Lets all turn out and give a big welcome to Ward.

73-- Ken K7TAG

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New Amateur radio satellite in orbit

HAMSAT (or VUsat) is the latest Amateur Radio satellite in orbit. It is India's first.

"We congratulate all who have worked for the hamsat and its successful launch," said Sandip Shah, VU3SXE, AMSAT-India's treasurer, who was at the control center in Bangalore, India, for the May 5 launch. The satellite went aloft from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota.

Going into space with the 42.5 kg HAMSAT was the primary payload -- the 1560 kg Indian remote sensing satellite, CARTOSAT-1. The spacecraft were placed into polar sun synchronous orbits at an altitude of 632 x 621 km with an equatorial inclination of 97.8 degrees.

HAMSAT will provide two new linear mode U/V transponders for SSB and CW use only. Only one transponder will be active at any given time. AMSAT-India indicates the UHF uplink will be in the 435.35 MHz range, while the VHF downlink will be in the 145.90 MHz range. Details are not yet available.

Dutch graduate student William Leijenaar, PE1RAH, who designed one of the transponders aboard HAMSAT, saw the PSLV-C6 vehicle carry the satellite skyward from SDSC SHAR. "It was very interesting to see how my radio finally went into space," he said afterward. "It is the best ham radio experience in my life." Leijenaar said reports he'd received indicated that the onboard computer was showing the batteries and solar panels working normally. "We just are a few days away from 'CQ CQ HAMSAT' QSOs," he said.

The satellite has not yet been given an OSCAR designation. There's more information on the AMSAT-India web site, http://www.amsatindia.com/hamsat.htm.

-- ARRL Bulletin ARLS004

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Ham gear for sale

Former OARS member Loren Mercer, KA7GSV, is moving and wants to sell his complete Ham station, including a Kenwood TS-820 transceiver (needs new tubes), a 60+ ft. guyed tower, 3 element Yagi, Icom IC-255A, 2 meter beam, desk, etc.

He will sell for best offer, and promises a good deal to anyone taking all. He can be contacted at 870-7369 (cell phone), 357-7561 (home phone), or by email at Lmercer9@yahoo.com.

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Understanding Engineers

-- Take One

Two engineering students crossing the campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The first engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

-- Take Two

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

-- Take Three

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi George! Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire-fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime." The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

-- Take Four

Q: What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?

A: Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.

-- Take Five

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?" The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?" The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

-- Take Six

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body. One said, "It was a mechanical engineer." Just look at all the joints." Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections." The last one said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

-- Take Seven

Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

-- Take Eight

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.

The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because the passion and mystery he found there. The engineer said, "I like both."

"Both?" "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

-- Take Nine

An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

-- from Woody, WA6GXI

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2005 Rally Schedule

June 4 -- Dryad's Quest

June 5 -- Shitepoke Rally

June 25 -- Rally Cross

June 30 -- Brooklyn Bash

August 6 & 7 -- Rally Sprints

September 10 -- Sou'wester

September 11 -- Simpson Stages

-- Jerry Julian, KD7CZN

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Treasurer's Report

As of 4/30/05

GENERAL FUND (checking account)

    Previous balance     $1,449.51

        Income              155.29

        Expenses             67.58

    Ending balance        1,537.22

REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

    Previous balance      $ 984.20

        Income                0.00

        Expenses              0.00

    Ending balance          984.20

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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Putting out the cat

A couple was going out for the evening. The last thing they did was to put the cat out.

The taxi arrived, and as the couple walked out of the house, the cat shoots back in. So the husband goes back inside to chase it out.

The wife, not wanting it known that the house would be empty, explained to the taxi driver "He's just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother."

A few minutes later, the husband got into the taxi and said, "Sorry I took so long, the stupid thing was hiding under the bed and I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out!"

-- from Joke of the Day via Internet

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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, 2005:


Net control stations for the month were WB7ROZ, K7TAG, WC7I, and K7VRE. 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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Old goats

A group of Americans was traveling by tour bus through Holland seeing the many sights.

As they stopped at a cheese farm, a young guide led them through a process of cheese making, explaining that goats' milk was used.

She showed the group a lively hillside where many goats were grazing. These, she explained, were the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produced. She then asked, "What do you do in America with your older goats?"

A spry old gentleman in the group answered, "They send us on bus tours."

-- from Joke of the Day, via Internet

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Federal agents arrest, detain alleged California jammer

Reputed Los Angeles-area repeater jammer and former Amateur Radio licensee Jack Gerritsen was taken off the air and into custody this week. Acting on a criminal complaint, FBI special agents, accompanied by personnel from the FCC Los Angeles Field Office, arrested the 68-year-old Gerritsen without incident early May 5 at his home in Bell, California. Federal agents also confiscated Gerritsen's radio equipment.

"A criminal complaint filed Wednesday afternoon charges Gerritsen with a felony charge of malicious interference with a communications system operated by the United States and a misdemeanor count of transmitting radio signals without a license," said a May 5 statement from the office of Debra W. Yang, US Attorney for the Central District of California. "The two charges carry a potential penalty of 11 years in federal prison."

At an initial court appearance May 5, bond was set at $250,000 "fully secured." A spokesman in the US Attorney's office explained that Gerritsen will have to post property or cash to be released, but that it will be several days before the necessary paperwork is ready -- assuming that Gerritsen is able to make bail. Once released on bond, Gerritsen would be subject to home detention and barred from possessing any radio equipment, the spokesman said, adding that Gerritsen's house would remain subject to search to make sure.

Unless Gerritsen is indicted beforehand, a preliminary hearing in the case is set for May 25, with arraignment to follow on May 31.

The criminal complaint says an FCC investigation revealed that Gerritsen "transmits his prerecorded political messages and real-time harassment and profanity for hours at a time, often making it impossible for licensed radio operators to use the public frequencies."

Gerritsen already faces a total of $52,000 in FCC-imposed or proposed forfeitures for alleged interference. In March, the FCC denied a Petition for Reconsideration and upheld a $10,000 fine against Gerritsen for interfering with Amateur Radio communications. Gerritsen has yet to pay the fine.

An FBI affidavit sworn out this week in advance of obtaining a search warrant of Gerritsen's residence indicates that FCC agents have been investigating multiple instances of unlawful radio transmissions and malicious interference attributed to Gerritsen over the past four years. FCC agents on a regular basis have been monitoring radio transmissions said to be coming from Gerritsen. They've also spoken with him in person and asked to inspect his station, although earlier FCC documents say he refused that request.

In addition to Amateur Radio repeater communications, Gerritsen is alleged to have interfered with Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) transmissions. The FCC also reported that it has received complaints from other government agencies that Gerritsen interfered with local and state police and fire agencies, the American Red Cross, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and other radio services. A MARS training exercise in March had to be canceled as a result of interference attributed to Gerritsen.

Earlier this week, Gerritsen, who briefly held the call sign KG6IRO as a Technician licensee and still uses it on the air, was taken into custody by Bell, California, police officers on an unrelated contempt of court citation after violating the terms of a temporary restraining order (TRO) a local radio amateur had obtained to keep Gerritsen off a local repeater. He was released without bond after being held for a few hours and was reported back on area repeaters not long afterward.

Radio amateurs on the West Coast have been complaining for months about the slow pace of enforcement action in the Gerritsen case. Los Angeles-area repeater owners have taken to shutting down their machines to avoid the nearly constant barrage of malicious interference attributed to Gerritsen.

Five years ago, Gerritsen was convicted in state court of interfering with police radio transmissions and sentenced to 38 months in prison. Following his release in July 2003, the FCC soon began receiving complaints about Gerritsen's activity on the airwaves, according to this week's criminal complaint.

Yang's office said the FBI "received substantial assistance" from the FCC in the case.

-- from the ARRL Letter

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Warning Labels

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

-- from Joke of the Day via Internet

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