Watts News

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

 October 2001
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

  •  President's Message
  •  Notes from the VP
  •  Emergency communications
  •  Administrative Council calls for end to Morse requirements
  •  Minutes of September OARS meeting
  •  OARS repeater pictures
  •  Treasurer's Report
  •  September ARES meeting
  •  OARS Net check-ins
  •  Top 10 useless inventions
  •  GPS experiment on the AO-40 amateur satellite
  •  Definitions for parents
  •  Dark conspiracy involving electrical power companies surfaces
  •  ARRL members' help needed with CC&R effort
  •  FCC says band plans do matter
  • --back to OARS home page


    Well, Fall is upon us. Folks will be preparing for the upcoming holidays, and the memory of the events of September slowly start to fade. I do hope that our thoughts about the tragedy do not fade too much or too soon. It is unfortunate that there are those that do not wish us, as a nation, well. I guess that in some ways I was very lucky that during the years that I spent in the Middle East, I personally was not the recipient of any form of hostility. I am glad though that I now am not in that part of the world.

    OK, it's election time again. There is a partially new set of names before the membership to be voted upon at the next meeting. Ken Dahl, (K7TAG) is up for President; Helen Hannigan, (KB7JDL) is up for Secretary. The other officers would carry over for the next year. I hope you will all turn out to support these nominees and to carry on our democratic process.

    As the seasons change so do our lives. Allan Jones is in the midst of changing things and has resigned as ARES EC. I was asked to take that position and have accepted. As of October 11, 2001, I shall be the EC. Allan has done a very good job as EC, and I thank him for his efforts. 

    We as Amateur Radio Operators enjoy many privileges. Sometimes with Privileges comes some responsibility. I believe that one of the premier aspects of Ham Radio is the volunteer efforts that are put forth by our community. As all of you know there are many local events that are well supported by the area Hams. In light of recent events I believe that there has been emphasis placed upon the need for volunteers. The Ham response in New York was very good. They put in long hours for a couple of weeks. We have had good response here during our situations. Fortunately they have for the most part been of short duration. It would be a stretch to man just our own EOC for 24/7 as they say. So please think about volunteering, think about becoming an active participant in ARES. The community might need YOUR help.

    -- 73, Dan, KB7DFL

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    Notes from the VP

    It's pretty clear I'm to be OARS Vice-President again; nobody applied at the nomination meeting in September and I accepted the nomination from Larry KC7CKO. It looks like Ken K7TAG will become President. This means we get to plan the programs for our meetings for another year. This is a task I find great enjoyment in fulfilling. After all, this way I get to see what I want to see at club meetings, and talk with bigwigs in the name of the club, and pressure the club into paying for stuff I like. Anyway, as several of you have commented on how much you enjoyed the big-screen video's of DXpeditions (we saw the A52A Bhutan, and the FO0AAA Clipperton Island DXpeditions this past year) -- expect some more of them. 

    I note the new modes, PSK 31 and its successors, that have become so popular recently. I want some show and tells on them. I liked Ron W7NN's description of why he selected and installed the antennas he has, so I may repeat that discussion with him next fall. It's been awhile since Rick Taylor, the Capitol Peak repeater guru, was in with his explanation of the features of his wide-coverage 145.47 machine; look for him sometime soon. And I know many of you were licensed before the RF exposure limits requirements were codified and made part of the material every technician must know to get licensed, so I'll share that section of the training videotape that goes over these issues sometime soon. Mostly, if you have a topic or something to share, I'm interested in helping it find a place in front of us.

    I see the Salvation Army is still using hams at the WTC, a month after the attack, and they need more -- the one's they have are "burning out." I wonder how the Northwest would fare if we had a similar incident. We have fewer hams than New York, to start with, so I bet we'd be in greater need. They had 24 on duty round the clock for awhile. I know that in the beginning they specifically wanted hams with an ARES/RACES ID badge, a 2m/440 mobile radio, and the ability to be quasi-independent. How would you stand that test if it came? I'd flunk -- I don't have a mobile 440 radio, but it's clearly on my list! It's good to know our unique skills and technology were of value even when the entire governmental support structure was there in to help. There's definitely a place for ham radio in these cellular days. (I never had any doubt.)

    Here's a puzzle for you: DX4U, located in the mountain regions of Upper Skidonia, strung a 99-conductor cable across a mountain chasm before he realized that the wires weren't color coded. Working alone, and with only a buzzer and a battery for test equipment, how could he identify each of the 99 wires and how many round trips would it require? (What he plans to do with the 99-conductor cable is another problem...)

    It's too late to get into the current technician class. It's scheduled in early November, with about 15 students. Everyone involved is reading the book and should be halfway through or better (Now You're Talking, available at some Radio Shacks) now. I am looking for people who might want a class; if you've got a name get it to me and I'll call 'em myself! I can be reached at (360) 866-0800.

    Production of the Thurston County TV video "Ham Radio Today" will happen in December. I'd like to videotape some stations and antenna farms to be used as background while we're interviewing the "talent." Do you have a vertical or a beam that's photogenic? How about a neat ham shack? I'd like to do this taping the weekend of the 17th of November. Give a call! It'll probably see airing in mid to late December, several times.

    I think I'll have a potluck Christmas dinner at my place this year, and invite y'all, as the southerners say. I have a pretty big room (if a bit rustic) we can use. Anyone got any ideas when would be a good date for it? I'm leaning toward December 29th, a Saturday. The fourth Wednesday is the 26th. Comments? 

    -- 73 es CUAGN de Lee, KI7SS

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    Emergency communications

    A couple of hunters are out in the woods when one falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, and his eyes have rolled back in his head.

    The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911. He gasps to the operator, "My friend is dead! What do I do?"

    The operator, in a calm soothing voice says, "Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

    There is silence, then a shot is heard. The hunter says, "OK, now what?"

    -- David ZL3AI

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    Administrative Council calls for end to Morse requirement

    Saying that it was "setting aside any previous relevant decisions," the International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council this week resolved that IARU policy supports "the removal of Morse code testing as an ITU requirement for an amateur license to operate on frequencies below 30 MHz." The Council further resolved to urge member societies -- as an interim measure -- to seek Morse code testing speeds "not exceeding five words per minute."

    The resolution was adopted during the IARU Administrative Council meeting October 6-8 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which followed the 14th General Assembly of IARU Region 2.

    The Council's Morse resolution took into consideration the approval -- without opposition -- of ITU-R Recommendation M.1544. That document sets out the minimum qualifications of radio amateurs. The Council also said it recognizes that Morse code "continues to be an effective and efficient mode of communication used by many thousands of radio amateurs," but that Morse code proficiency as requirement for an HF amateur license "is no longer relevant to the healthy future of Amateur Radio."

    The principal business at the Administrative Council session was to review the status of IARU preparations for WRC-2003. Agenda items of concern to amateurs include, among others, the harmonization of amateur and broadcasting allocations near 7 MHz, the adequacy of HF broadcasting allocations below 10 MHz, and possible revisions to Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations.

    Among other things, Article S25 spells out Amateur Radio operator qualifications. It now provides that Amateur Radio license applicants demonstrate the ability "to send correctly by hand and to receive correctly by ear, texts in Morse code signals" for operation below 30 MHz. The IARU Administrative Council supports the revision of Article S25 and the incorporation by reference of Recommendation M.1544.

    The IARU Council selected the theme of the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2002, as "Amateur Radio: Continuing Innovation in Communication Technology."

    -- ARRL Bulletin 44

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    Minutes of September OARS meeting

    The Meeting was called to order at 1900.

    The members stood for the Pledge of Allegiance

    The following names were placed before the members for next month's elections.

    It was decided that OARS would provide a digital interface to ARES for the EOC. Ken Dahl stated that he had a Rig Blaster that he could provide. 

    There was a discussion regarding OARS making a contribution to the Capitol Peak Repeater Group. This issue requires further examination, and the idea was tabled for future consideration.

    The evening's program was the presentation of the Rex Creek Fire Complex photos acquired by Dan Crane, KB7DFL.

    The meeting adjourned at 2100.

    -- Dan Crane, KB7DFL

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    OARS repeater pictures

    Have you wondered what the OARS repeater on Crawford Mountain looks like, but never been there? Ken Dahl, K7DHL, took along his trusty digital camera when Fred Baker, W7SIX was remounting the repeater. The results can be seen on the OARS web site, http://home.att.net/~oars/. Check it out.

    --back to table of contents

    Treasurer's Report

    As of 9/30/01

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 2,307.76
            Income                62.66
            Expenses              45.30
        Ending balance         2,325.12

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance       $ 924.77
            Income                 7.11
            Expenses               0.00
        Ending balance           931.88

    -- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

    --back to table of contents

    September ARES meeting

    The meeting was called to order at 1930.

    There were 12 members attending, as well as one guest, K7CEX (Jim Pace) our District 4 ARES Rep.

    The meeting began with a presentation of pictures taken from the Rex Creek Fire Complex. This was provided be KB7DFL (Dan Crane).

    The business portion of the meeting commenced about 20:15 Hrs. Dan Filip (KC7AVR) stated that Chuck Skovill (KC7FEE) would be filling his position at the Red Cross.

    There was a discussion about the date for the SET. It would be decided shortly, and the members would be notified.

    It was approved by the members to acquire a boom mike and a foot switch for the HF Rig at the EOC. W7SIX (Fred Baker) stated that he had some foot switches that were available for it. ARES would procure the Boom Microphone.

    The meeting adjourned at 2100.

    -- Dan Crane, KB7DFL

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    OARS Net check-ins

    The following stations checked in one or more times to the OARS General Information Net in September or on October 2.

    W3GE   W7DOY  W7SAY  W7SIX
    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

    Top 10 useless inventions

      1. Water-proof towel
      2. Solar powered flashlight
      3. Submarine screen door
      4. A book on how to read
      5. Inflatable dart board
      6. A dictionary index
      7. Ejector seat on a helicopter
      8. Powdered water
      9. Pedal-powered wheel chair
      10. Water-proof tea bag
    -- adapted from Joke of the Day

    --back to table of contents

    GPS experiment on the AO-40 amateur satellite

    ANS is pleased to report that the GPS experiment on AO-40 has undergone successful testing. This experiment supplied and sponsored by NASA, is to determine if it is possible to get positional data outside of the GPS ring of satellites.

    There are two GPS receivers on AO-40, the A receiver for receiving signals around apogee and the B receiver for signal reception around perigee. Both receivers are operational, and Data is passed from the receivers through the RUDAK to the S-band transmitter.

    Jim White WD0E, has been the AMSAT coordinator and chief operator for this activity, reports that "we received a signal on the apogee receiver from about 52 Thousand Kilometres out with good signal levels, further data is being gathered and those downloaded so far are being analysed." 

    Frank Bauer KA3HDO, AMSAT-VP Human Spaceflight Programs, and instrumental in setting up the GPS experiment, said "If this experiment goes the way I expect, it will revolutionise the way we use GPS in Space. Many future HEO spacecraft will be able to take advantage of GPS for autonomous navigation and station-keeping."

    AMSAT President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, was delighted with the news of the GPS success, and commented that "It is great to be able to help our friends at NASA. Testing this experiment has been a long time in coming, and we were worried that radiation may have damaged the GPS receivers. Now at last we have a very positive result from this important experiment."

    Stay tuned to ANS for further details as they become available. 

    -- ANS Editor Dan James (N0DJ@amsat.org)

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    Definitions for parents

    AMNESIA: Condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to make love again.

    DUMBWAITER: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert. 

    FAMILY PLANNING: The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.

    FEEDBACK: The inevitable result when your baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.

    FULL NAME: What you call your child when you're mad at him. 

    GRANDPARENTS: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right.

    HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word. 

    IMPREGNABLE: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid. 

    INDEPENDENT: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.

    OW: The first word spoken by children with older siblings. 

    PUDDLE: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.

    SHOW OFF: A child who is more talented than yours.

    TOP BUNK: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman pajamas. 

    TWO MINUTE WARNING: When the baby's face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.

    -- by packet from W1GMF

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    Dark conspiracy involving electrical power companies surfaces 

    Rewritten by the Quantum Mechanic

    For years the electrical utility companies have led the public to believe they were in business to supply electricity to the consumer, a service for which they charge a substantial rate. The recent accidental acquisition of secret records from a well known power company has led to a massive research campaign which positively explodes several myths and exposes the massive hoax which has been perpetrated upon the public by the power companies. 

    The most common hoax promoted the false concept that light bulbs emitted light; in actuality, these 'light' bulbs actually absorb DARK which is then transported back to the power generation stations via wire networks. A more descriptive name has now been coined; the new scientific name for the device is DARKSUCKER. 

    This newsletter introduces a brief synopsis of the darksucker theory, which proves the existence of dark and establishes the fact that dark has great mass, and further, that dark particle (the anti-photon) is the fastest known particle in the universe. Apparently, even the celebrated Dr. Albert Einstein did not suspect the truth.. that just as COLD is the absence of HEAT, LIGHT is actually the ABSENCE of DARK... scientists have now proven that light does not really exist!

    The basis of the darksucker theory is that electric light bulbs suck dark. Take for example, the darksuckers in the room where you are right now. There is much less dark right next to the darksuckers than there is elsewhere, demonstrating their limited range. The larger the darksucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Darksuckers in a parking lot or on a football field have a much greater capacity than the ones in used in the home, for example.

    It may come as a surprise to learn that darksuckers also operate on a celestial scale; witness the Sun. Our Sun makes use of dense dark, sucking it in from all the planets and intervening dark space. Naturally, the Sun is better able to suck dark from the planets which are situated closer to it, thus explaining why those planets appear brighter than do those which are far distant from the Sun.

    Occasionally, the Sun actually oversucks; under those conditions, dark spots appear on the surface of the Sun. Scientists have long studied these "sunspots" and are only recently beginning to realize that the dark spots represent leaks of high pressure dark because the Sun has oversucked dark to such an extent that some dark actually leaks back into space. This leakage of high pressure dark frequently causes problems with radio communications here on Earth due to collisions between the dark particles as they stream out into space at high velocity via the black 'holes' in the surface of the Sun.

    As with all manmade devices, darksuckers have a finite lifetime caused by the fact that they are not 100% efficient at transmitting collected dark back to the power company via the wires from your home, causing dark to build up slowly within the device. Once they are full of accumulated dark, they can no longer suck. This condition can be observed by looking for the black spot on a full darksucker when it has reached maximum capacity of untransmitted dark -- you have surely noticed that dark completely surrounds a full darksucker because it no longer has the capacity to suck any dark at all.

    A candle is a primitive darksucker. A new candle has a white wick. You will notice that after the first use the wick turns black, representing all the dark which has been sucked into it. If you hold a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, the tip will turn black because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle. It is of no use to plug a candle into an electrical outlet; it can only collect dark.. it has no transmission capabilities. Unfortunately, these primitive darksuckers have a very limited range and are hazardous to operate because of the intense heat produced.

    There are also portable darksuckers called flashlights. The bulbs in these devices collect dark which is passed to a dark storage unit called a battery. When the dark storage unit is full, it must be either emptied (a process called "recharging") or replaced before the portable darksucker can continue to operate. If you break open a battery, you will find dense black dark inside, evidence that it is actually a compact dark storage unit.

    The darksuckers on your automobile are high capacity units with great range, thus they require much larger dark storage units mounted under the hood of the vehicle. Since there is far more dark available in the winter season, automobile dark storage units reach capacity more frequently than they do in the summer, requiring "recharging," or in severe cases, total replacement. 

    Dark has great mass. When dark is drawn into a darksucker, friction caused by the speed and mass of the dark particles (called anti-photons) actually generates substantial heat, thus it is unwise to touch an operating dark sucker. Candles represent a special problem, as the dark must travel into a solid wick instead of through clear glass. This generates a great amount of heat, making it very dangerous to touch an operating candle.

    Because dark has such great mass, it is very heavy. If you swim just below the surface of a lake, you see a lot of "light" (absence of dark, to be more precise). As you go deeper and deeper beneath the surface, you will notice that it gets darker and darker. When you reach a depth of approximately fifty feet, you are in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the lake, making it appear "lighter" near the surface.

    The power companies have learned to use the dark which has settled to the bottom of lakes and rivers by pushing it through turbines, which generates the electricity used to pump the dark toward the ocean where it may be safely stored for their devious purposes. 

    Prior to the development of turbines, it was much more difficult to get the dark from the rivers and lakes to the ocean. The Indians recognized this problem, and developed means to assist the flow of dark on it's long journey to the ocean. When on a river in a canoe traveling in the same direction as the flow of dark, they paddled slowly, so as not to impede the flow of dark; but when they traveled against the flow of dark, they paddled vigorously to help propel the dark along its way.

    Scientists are working feverishly to develop exotic new instrumentation with which to measure the actual speed and energy level of dark. While such instrumentation is beyond the capabilities of the average layman, you can actually perform a test to demonstrate the unbelievable speed of dark, right in your own home.

    All that is required for the simple test is a closed desk drawer situated in a bright room. You know from past experience that the tightly shut drawer is FULL of dark. Now, place your hand firmly on the drawer's handle. Quickly yank the drawer open.. the dark immediately disappears, demonstrating the blinding speed with which the dark travels to the nearest darksucker!

    The secrets of dark are at present known only to the power companies. Dark must be very valuable, since they go to such lengths to collect it in vast quantities. By some well hidden method, more modern power "generation" facilities have devised methods to hide their collection of dark. The older facilities, however, usually have gargantuan piles of solidified dark in huge fenced in areas. Visitors to these facilities are told that the huge black piles of material are supplies of coal, but such is not the case.

    The power companies have long used secret acronyms to disguise their activities; "D.C." stands for "Dark Conspiracy," while "A.C." is suspected to represent the "Alternate Conspiracy" which will most likely be used exclusively once the secrets of D.C. are totally understood. D.C. is rapidly yielding it's secrets to the probing eyes and instruments of honest scientists around the world. The U.S. Attorney General is considering action to be taken against the power companies for the theft and stockpiling of dark from "consumers." New developments are being announced every day and we promise to keep the public informed of these announcements as they occur via this newsletter.

    -- author unknown

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    ARRL members' help needed with CC&R effort

    ARRL is encouraging members to write their members of Congress in an effort to build awareness in Congress that private land-use regulations have become a real problem for many Amateur Radio operators. ARRL Legislative and Public Affairs Manager Steve Mansfield, N1MZA, says support from the amateur community will help to backstop the League's efforts to meet with elected representatives and staffers on Capitol Hill to discuss possible legislation.

    "In the meantime, we continue to prowl the halls of Congress in search of supporters!" Mansfield said.

    As condominium complexes and planned communities proliferate, covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs, have become a growing obstacle to amateurs who want to erect antennas. At its July meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors adopted a goal of legislative action to help overcome the restrictions that CC&Rs impose on Amateur Radio antennas.

    Amateurs who are affected by CC&Rs -- or who know someone in their Congressional district who is -- are invited to adapt the ARRL's sample letter to their own situations and consider sending it to their Congressional representative. A sample of the letter is on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/ccr-sample-letter.html> .

    To find a Senator's mailing address, visit the US Senate Web site <http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm>. To find a Representative's mailing address, visit the US House of Representatives Web site, <http://www.house.gov/writerep/>.

    Those writing are requested to share their correspondence with Steve Mansfield, N1MZA, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; n1mza@arrl.org.

    -- from the ARRL Letter

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    FCC says band plans do matter

    The FCC recently asked three amateurs to respond to complaints alleging that they deliberately transmitted SSB on top of CW stations operating in the vicinity of 1820 to 1825 kHz. The FCC has never designated mode-specific subbands in the 160-meter amateur band. Instead, operators are asked to voluntarily adhere to the ARRL band plan, revised this past summer, which recommends a lower limit of 1843 kHz for SSB operation.

    In the wake of the complaints, FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth wrote George Wehrung, W5TZ, and Dennis Clauder, KT5S -- both of Texas -- and Derrick Vogt, WA4TWM, of Kansas in mid-September. Hollingsworth asked each to respond to allegations from several other operators that their SSB transmissions deliberately interfered with attempts by others to operate on CW between 1820 and 1830 kHz. Copies of the complaints were sent to all three operators.

    "Band plans are voluntary in nature," Hollingsworth acknowledged in each of the similarly worded letters. He said the FCC depends upon voluntary compliance because it minimizes the necessity for the Commission to be called in to resolve amateur problems. "Where interference results from band plans not being followed," Hollingsworth continued, "the Commission expects substantial justification to be shown by the operators ignoring the band plans."

    Hollingsworth requested that Wehrung, Clauder and Vogt each reply to the complaints within 20 days.

    -- from the ARRL Letter

    --back to table of contents

    --back to OARS home page