Olympia Amateur Radio Society

ARRL Special Service ClubWatts News

Monthly Newsletter of the

Olympia Amateur Radio Society

P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507

  October 2007
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

--back to OARS home page

From the Oval ShackPresident's Message

I was in my favorite store this week and could not help but see Christmas decorations everywhere! This year has flown by for me. I have truly enjoyed being the president of OARS. It is an experience I will always be glad I had. I have met so many great people, learned so much and found a lot of satisfaction doing this task. As we near the end of the year it is time we have a new president. Of course I plan on being very active and supporting this organization for a long, long time. I think change is good. I would like to encourage all of you to consider running for an office, and/or nominating someone. We must have officers to have a club. There are also opportunities to serve on committees and projects.

As winter weather approaches it is also time to check our antennas, make sure they are secure, and check our batteries and connections. It is miserable realizing you have a problem, in a cold storm, somewhere outside.

It is also time to start thinking about what type of meetings you would like to have for the coming year. Who would you like to hear speak? What subjects would like to see addressed?

As we approach the Thanksgiving season I would like to encourage us all to be kind to each other and those we come in contact with. Lets give away some good cheer this year. A man was driving a service truck, behind schedule, tired and lost. He came to an intersection and was looking at his map instead of the road. As he stopped at the intersection he realized he was a car length out in the intersection. He looked in his rear mirrors and could did not see a car. He backed up and felt a bump. Obviously this was a small car -- sure enough a small but very expensive sports car. He walked back and apologized to the driver and said he was sorry. The car had considerable damage to the grill and it became obvious this was going to be expensive. Seeing the remorse in the driver of the service van, the owner of the small car smiled. He said "Don't worry, the damage you see I did myself by not stopping at the end of my driveway. Have a great day." Let's show some mercy this Thanksgiving season -- we all need it.

-- Bart Tirrell

Break Text

--back to table of contents

Consider Being an OO

Hi Everyone,

My name is Scott Douglas, w7xc, the newly appointed Official Observer Coordinator for Western Washington. I am emailing you in the hope of interesting you in volunteering for the Official Observer Program, which has been part of the ARRL volunteer program for more than 50 years. Besides assisting the ARRL in the self policing of our bands / frequencies, we help our fellow amateurs locate and remedy problems with their stations before they come to the attention of the FCC. If they need in-depth assistance, we will refer them (if requested) to our "Specialist" volunteers who have the knowledge to assist them in effecting corrections.

Currently, we need additional volunteers in every district in Western Washington. We also want to establish an OO in every affiliated club in the Western Washington Section. This way, the individual clubs' members will have direct access to our services through a familiar and known individual, and we will gain the additional manpower necessary to respond effectively in all areas of our section.

Here are some links to important information about our Official Observer Program for your review. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 253-891-8000, or email me at w7xc@arrl.net and I will be happy to call you to discuss the program.

Official Appointment Description for Official Observer:


The Amateur Auxiliary of the FCC:


To apply, contact Scott Douglas w7xc@arrl.net or call 253-891-8000

-- ARRL Western Washington Section Manager James Pace, K7CEX


Break Text

--back to table of contents

You Can Take it With You

A man lying on his deathbed called to him his lawyer, his doctor, and his pastor. "I am going to die tonight, and I want to prove that when you go to heaven, you can take it all with you. So to my three most trusted friends, you three of course, I am leaving 50,000 dollars in these envelopes. When I die you must come to my funeral and put the envelopes in my coffin with me." The man handed the three men identical envelopes.

A day later they each received news that the old man had died. So each knew they must go to his funeral and fulfill his death wish. Standing over the coffin one week later, the pastor confessed, "I can't hide what I've done. I took 10,000 dollars from the envelope because the church needed to be painted."

Then as he did, so the doctor also started to fidget and then finally confessed "I took 30,000 dollars from my envelope because the hospital needed a new wing."

Then the lawyer said plainly "You bunch of crooks! I wrote him a check for the full amount!"

-- from ajokeaday via Internet

Break Text

--back to table of contents

Get Ready for the Second Annual ARRL On-line Auction!

The Second Annual ARRL On-Line Auction kicks off October 24, running until November 2 on the ARRL Web site http://www.arrl.org/auction. This is your chance to pick up one-of-a-kind Amateur Radio items. To see what the auction will offer this year, be sure to check out the auction preview that begins October 17. Last year, the auction attracted more than 4300 bidders from 36 countries. While the majority of buyers were from the USA, Canada and the UK, there were buyers from Australia, Malaysia, Grenada and Tanzania.

According to ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, "Last year's on-line auction was our first, and it was a great success. When the bidding ended, we realized that we had sold 104 items and we had raised just over $37,000." Proceeds from the auction benefit ARRL education programs including activities to license new hams, strengthen Amateur Radio's emergency service training, offer continuing technical and operating education, as well as creating instructional materials.

This year's auction will include many products tested by the ARRL Lab for QST Product Review. These items include an ICOM IC-7800, a Ten-Tec Omni VII, a Palstar Auto Antenna Tuner, an MJF 974H Balanced Antenna Tuner and a Heil Traveler Headset. There will be many vintage items offered, including the antique transmitter featured in John Dilks' "Old Radio" column in the November 2007 issue of QST. Also, returning by popular demand will be five ARRL Lab unique "junque" boxes.

-- from The ARRL Letter

Break Text

--back to table of contents

Get out of the car!

This is supposedly a true account recorded in the Police Log of Sarasota, Florida

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle.

She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her lungs, "I have a gun, and I know hot to use it! Get out of the car!"

The four men didn't wait for a second threat. They got out and ran like mad.

The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition.

She tried and tried, and then she realized why. It was for the same reason she had wondered why there was a football, a Frisbee and two 12-packs of beer in the front seat.

A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake.

The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn't stop laughing.

He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car-jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.

No charges were filed.

Moral of the story? If you're going to have a senior moment -- make it memorable.

Break Text

--back to table of contents

Treasurer's Report

As of 9/30/07

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,476.91

            Income                 0.27

            Expenses              96.70

        Ending balance         1,380.48

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,005.72

            Income                 2.57

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,008.29

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

Break Text

--back to table of contents

OARS Net check-ins

The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net one or more times in the month of September 2007:


Net control stations for the month were KE7EJJ, WC7I, and AB7AX. 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.

Break Text

--back to table of contents

Coax Cable Loss

"The Doctor Is In"

This week, ARRL Letter readers are in luck! The ARRL's very own Doctor, author of the popular QST column "The Doctor Is IN," answers a question from his mailbag:

Question: Ray Fritts, KA8SYX, of Jacksonville, Florida, asks: If a piece of coaxial cable has a specified loss figure in dB per 100 feet at a given frequency, does that mean that the loss in a different length of the same cable that is a fraction of 100 feet long is the same fraction of loss? For example, I have a type of coax that has a loss of 6 dB per 100 feet at 150 MHz. I have a 15 foot length I want to use as a feed line for my 2 meter mobile SSB transceiver. Does that mean that my feed line would have a loss of about 0.9 dB, not including SWR and connector insertion? I am particularly interested in the loss in received signal. Is my math correct, or is there a different method to determine the amount of signal lost in a coaxial cable when the length is different from that for which the published loss figures are expressed?

The Doctor Answers: Your calculations are right on. That's all there is to it. But do keep in mind just a few potential pitfalls:

Published cable loss data is for new cable. If used indoors in a non-hostile environment, it will stay close to new for many years. If the jacket allows moisture or moisture vapor to penetrate, it can degrade from subsequent corrosion. I have been amazed to find that the copper in some old cables that have been used outdoors has turned black from corrosion, and likely is no longer acting like a shield at all.

You are correct that the loss increases with an SWR higher than 1:1. For your receive case, keep in mind that the SWR is determined by the input impedance of the receiver -- not the antenna impedance. Sometimes receivers aligned for minimum noise figure do not have an impedance of 50 Ohms. Check your receiver specs.

Do you have a question or a problem? Send your questions to doctor@arrl.org or to "The Doctor," ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT

-- from the ARRL Letter

Break Text

--back to table of contents


It was rumored that a particular Native American had a fantastic memory. Hundreds of people asked the American questions which he was able to answer.

A skeptical young man set out to find this American. When he did find the American he thought he'd set a test. After standing in a long queue of people asking questions, it was finally his turn. He asked the American what he had had for breakfast 10 years ago. The American replied: eggs. The young man went off not entirely satisfied because there was no evidence to prove that the answer was correct.

Ten years later the man comes across the Native American again. Very pleased to see him he comes along to the American and greets him in the traditional "How". The American looks up at him, pauses for a moment and then replies: "Scrambled."

-- from AJokeADay via Internet

Break Text

--back to table of contents

Technical Assistance Program

The Western Washington Section has available to all Hams a Technical Assistance Program (TAP) lead by Tom Herman N1BEC and the Technical Specialists in WWA. This program is designed to help with various technical problems that arise in our pursuit of Amateur Radio. Problems may include but are not limited to: TVI/RFI, problems with transceivers, repeater problems, antenna problems and/or design and a host of other subjects that may be of interest to all.

For assistance, contact Tom at: n1bec@msn.com or visit the Technical Assistance Forum at:


If you are interested in becoming a Technical Specialist (we are recruiting from all WWA Districts) please contact Tom at n1bec@msn.com

73, and good Hamming

Jim Pace K7CEX

Section Manager

Western Washington Section

Break Text

--back to table of contents

KOMO TV News Story

By now many of you have heard about the unfortunate incident of interference in Everett allegedly caused by a Ham Radio Operator in Everett, which was broadcast on KOMO TV 25 September.

It is important to note that not all of the information is in on this case, and cool heads should prevail and we should set aside any judgments until all the information is known.

Be assured, our OO and TS staff are on the job and are gathering information. Once that has been accomplished we will make contact with the news folks at KOMO and provide them the correct information. Until then, please remain calm and let our OO, TS and PIO staff do the jobs they have volunteered for and are qualified to do. If any of the news media happen to contact any of you, just refer them to me and I'll get them to the appropriate individual.

73 and good Hamming

Jim Pace K7CEX

Asst. Section Manager

Western Washington Section


360 736 2221

Break Text

--back to table of contents

ARRL and MARS Team Up for Washington Demo

The ARRL and Virginia radio amateurs associated with the Army Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) put their emergency communications skills to the test on October 3, demonstrating to members of Congress and other Federal agencies how ham radio continues to work when other means of communications are disabled during hurricanes or other natural or man-made disasters. The demonstration took place in a compact portable communications center erected on the Capitol grounds near the Rayburn House Office. More than 50 MARS operators from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and other states participated in the event.

According to the scenario issued by exercise planners, the event assumed a Category 3 hurricane named Quincy that deposited heavy rains over a multi-state area on October 2 and made landfall in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia region later that day. The "storm" moved north into New Jersey and Pennsylvania, turned counterclockwise and traveled southward before returning to the Atlantic through the Carolinas and Georgia on October 5.

During the exercise, MARS operators also monitored other Amateur Radio emergency frequencies and coordinated the exchange of messages across their networks as well, honing their ability to work with other radio emergency providers such as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).

ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD; ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, and ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, made the trek down to Washington. "As the unusually hot October sun fried us, despite the lack of sunspots," Pitts said, "representatives of ARRL, MARS and the Southern Baptist Disaster Response organizations fought poor propagation to make contacts through the day primarily on VHF, 20 and 40 meters. Dennis Dura worked the ARRL's HF rig most of the day as W1AW/3. Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross, WD5DVR -- one of only two Amateur Radio operators in Congress -- also made contacts from the site."

<>Pitts said that the ARRL team used the "When All Else Fails Banner" at the site. "We hoisted the banner in front of the Capitol dome. It attracted many vacationing hams in the area who stopped by to see what was happening, and some even were able to be brief 'guest operators.' But the day was mostly spent showing Amateur Radio capabilities to the Congressional staffers and others who work behind the scenes to make the wheels of government go. Janet Worthington, KB3PDS, of Chwat & Co -- the ARRL's lobbying firm -- was able to use the demonstration as a topic and drop off ARRL materials about HR 462 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.462: and Amateur Radio in every congressional office."

MARS operators used a variety of modes to move messages from the originator to the final recipient, depending on the operating conditions in place at the time. Operators used voice, CW and WinLink2000 to move messages. WinLink uses an e-mail-type interface, making it simpler for served agencies to send and receive their emergency traffic.

MARS volunteers are required to complete a variety of training courses to be a part of the program. They use personal radio equipment and are capable of operating on emergency power when conditions dictate. Many members are former servicemen and women who first learned radio communication skills while serving in the Army. MARS is a Department of Defense sponsored organization of Amateur Radio operators trained and equipped to provide emergency communications for military and government agencies when normal links are interrupted by accident, natural calamity or hostile action. W1AW recently received a MARS call sign - AAN1ARL. For additional information about Army MARS, visit their Web site at http://www.netcom.army.mil/mars/ .

-- Some information provided by Jeff Slusher, KE5APC/AAT3PD, Public Relations Manager for Virginia Army MARS

-- from the ARRL Letter

Break Text
--back to table of contents
--back to OARS home page