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 2009
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

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From the Oval ShackPresident's Message

Hello Everyone -

I apologize for the lack of a greeting last month. No excuses, just lack of inspiration.

This month we should be considering the election of officers for OARS. I invite each of you to give consideration to the office you think you would be suited for and would enjoy holding, then think about running for that office.

Our current slate of officers is as follows:

President -- Klaus Neubert AC7MG (Me for those still reading)

Vice President -- Ken Julian K7VOX

Secretary -- Paul Taylor KC7LA

Treasurer -- Ed Fitzgerald N7WW

Member at Large -- Mark Dempsey KE7JTU

I believe we will be taking nominations at this month's meeting.

Thank you.

-- Klaus Neubert [AC7MG]

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DNR Repeater Sites Updated Information

The DNR has issued NEW guidelines for Amateur Repeater Site Leases. The following memo was sent to me on Friday, after my request to DNR for specific guidelines:

September 30 2009

To: All DNR Communications Site Managers

From: Mark Savage

Subject: Amateur Radio Leases, Guidelines and Information.


The issue of the amateur radio operations leasing in DNR facilities under the provisions of RCW 79.13.510 has been under discussion as we prepare to sell DNR Wireless Facilities. Our goal is to place a condition in the sale agreement that the purchaser work with DNR to develop a reporting system and payment system that will allow the current program to continue. DNR has not developed the reporting and system to work within the provisions of RCW 79.13.510, but there are no reasons the program should not or could not continue. We are in the first stages of this sale process and the intent is to keep any disruption to the (all) lessees to a minimum.

The decision to move out of the ownership/management of wireless facilities is based on many issues, principally the financial impact $250,000 per year in subsidized costs above management income (30%) to DNR and (70%) to the Trusts. DNR is not moving away from commercial communications site management but is making a deliberate business move to develop the emerging land leasing opportunities as the build out of broadband and cellular sites in rural areas of the state continue.

-- Mark Savage

If any questions, please call 360-902-1774

-- ARRL Western Washington Section Manager: James David Pace, K7CEX

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Treasurer's Report

As of 9/30/09

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,823.52

            Income                 0.00

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,823.52

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,023.72

            Income                 2.62

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,026.34

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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Big Trouble

A husband was in big trouble when he forgot his wedding anniversary.

His wife told him: " Tomorrow there better be something in the driveway for me that does zero to 200 in 2 seconds flat."

The next morning the wife found a small package in the driveway. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Funeral arrangements for the husband have been set for Saturday.

-- from W1GMF via packet

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OARS Net Check-ins

The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net one or more times on the dates of September 22 or 29:


Net control station reporting for the month was Rod, KI7CQ. 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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Antenna Tuner Wanted

Den, KH6XT, is looking to buy an antenna tuner, MFJ 949 or equivalent; physical condition unimportant. Please contact him at 915-8239 or djniles@pjpn.com

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Operating While Driving

National safety council responds to ARRL no evidence of "significant crash risks" while operating mobile

ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, wrote a letter to National Safety Council (NSC) President Janet Froetscher in July expressing the ARRL's concerns that Amateur Radio not become an unintended victim of the growing public debate over what to do about distracted drivers <http://www.arrl.org/news/files/NSC_Letter7-30-09.pdf>. Froetscher has now replied, saying the NSC does not support bans or prohibitions on the use of Amateur Radios while driving <http://www.arrl.org/news/files/NSC_Response_to_ARRL.pdf>.

Noting that there is significant evidence that talking on cell phones while driving poses crash risk four times that of other drivers, Froetscher observed that the NSC position calling for bans on the use of cell phones while driving is grounded in science. "We are not aware of evidence that using Amateur Radios while driving has significant crash risks," Froetscher wrote in her August 24 letter. "We also have no evidence that using two-way radios while driving poses significant crash risks. Until such time as compelling, peer-reviewed scientific research is presented that denotes significant risks associated with the use of Amateur Radios, two-way radios or other communication devices, the NSC does not support legislative bans or prohibition on their use."

Froetscher said that while "the specific risk of radio use while driving is unmeasured and likely does not approach that of cell phones, there indeed is some elevated risk to the drivers, their passengers and the public associated with 650,000 Amateur Radio operators who may not, at one time or another, not concentrate fully on their driving." She points out that the "best safety practice is to have one's full attention on their driving, their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Drivers who engage in any activity that impairs any of these constitutes an increased risk."

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said the ARRL "appreciates NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher's clear statement that the NSC does not support legislative bans or prohibitions on the use of Amateur Radio while driving. We applaud the NSC for taking positions that are grounded in science. At the same time, all radio amateurs should heed her call to concentrate fully on driving while behind the wheel. It is possible to operate a motor vehicle safely while using Amateur Radio, but if it becomes a distraction we owe it those with whom we share the road, as well as to our passengers, to put safety first.

On January 30, 2009, the ARRL Executive Committee adopted the ARRL's Policy Statement on Mobile Amateur Radio Operation <http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/MobileAmateurRadioPolicyStatement.pdf> that states "Amateur Radio mobile operation is ubiquitous, and Amateur Radio emergency and public service communications, and other organized Amateur Radio communications activities and networks necessitate operation of equipment while some licensees are driving motor vehicles. Two-way radio use is dissimilar from full-duplex cellular telephone communications because the operator spends little time actually transmitting; the time spent listening is more similar to, and arguably less distracting than, listening to a broadcast radio, CD or MP3 player. There are no distinctions to be made between or among Amateur Radio, public safety land mobile radio, private land mobile radio or citizen's radio in terms of driver distraction. All are distinguishable from mobile cellular telephone communications in this respect. Nevertheless, ARRL encourages licensees to conduct Amateur communications from motor vehicles in a manner that does not detract from the safe and attentive operation of a motor vehicle at all times."

In his letter, Harrison explained to Froetscher that Amateur Radio operators provide essential emergency communications when regular communications channels are disrupted by disaster: "Through formal agreements with federal agencies, such as the National Weather Service, FEMA and private relief organizations, the Amateur Radio volunteers protect lives using their own equipment without compensation. The ability of hams to communicate and help protect the lives of those in danger would be strictly hindered if the federal, state and local governments do not ensure that Amateur Radio operators can continue the use of their mobile radios while on the road."

Froetscher replied that she "appreciate[s] your focus of Amateur Radio for emergency communications during disasters. I encourage ARRL to adopt best practices for the safe operation of vehicles that confines use of Amateur Radios while driving only to disaster emergencies."

The Policy Statement asserts that the ARRL "is aware of no evidence that [mobile] operation contributes to driver inattention. Quite the contrary: Radio amateurs are public service-minded individuals who utilize their radio-equipped motor vehicles to assist others, and they are focused on driving in the execution of that function."

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Stupid Question

A truck driver is driving along on the freeway. A sign comes up that reads "Low Bridge Ahead." Before he knows it, the bridge is right ahead of him and he gets stuck under it. Cars are backed up for miles.

Finally, a police car comes up. The cop gets out of his car and walks around to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, "Got stuck, huh?"

The truck driver says, "No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas."

-- from AJokeADay.com via Internet

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Senate Introduces Companion Bill to HR 2160

October 6, Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), along with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced Senate Bill 1755, The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009. Similar to HR 2160 -- also called The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 -- that was introduced this past April by Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18), The bill, if passed, would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to undertake a study on emergency communications. S 1755 points out that "There is a strong Federal interest in the effective performance of Amateur Radio Service stations, and that performance must be given (A) support at all levels of government; and (B) protection against unreasonable regulation and impediments to the provision of the valuable communications provided by such stations."

"We are delighted to have the sponsorship of both the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and especially to have the support of Senator Lieberman from the ARRL's home state," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "The bill could not have a better pedigree." Lieberman is the Chairman of the committee, while Collins is the Ranking Member.

Like HR 2160, S 1755 calls on DHS to undertake a study on the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief and then to submit a report to Congress no more than 180 days after the bill becomes law. The study shall: Include a review of the importance of Amateur Radio emergency communications in furtherance of homeland security missions relating to disasters, severe weather and other threats to lives and property in the United States, as well as recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts and improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in planning and furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security initiatives. Identify impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications, such as the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use regulations on residential antenna installations; and make recommendations regarding such impediments for consideration by other federal departments, agencies and Congress.

In conducting the study, S 1755 directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to "utilize the expertise of stakeholder entities and organizations, including the Amateur Radio, emergency response and disaster communications communities."

S 1755 makes note of the fact that Section 1 of the Joint Resolution entitled Joint Resolution to Recognize the Achievements of Radio Amateurs, and To Establish Support for Such Amateurs as National Policy -- approved October 22, 1994 (Public Law 103-408) -- included a finding that stated: "Reasonable accommodation should be made for the effective operation of Amateur Radio from residences, private vehicles and public areas, and the regulation at all levels of government should facilitate and encourage amateur radio operations as a public benefit." The bill also pointed out that Section 1805(c) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 757(c)) directs the Regional Emergency Communications Coordinating Working Group of the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate their activities with ham and Amateur Radio operators among the 11 other emergency organizations, such as ambulance services, law enforcement and others.

ARRL New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI said that Amateur Radio operators in the State of Maine have "an outstanding relationship" with their Congressional representatives -- plus Governor John Baldacci is KB1NXP!" Both Connecticut and Maine are part of the League's New England Division

Frenaye said that Maine Section Manager Bill Woodhead, N1KAT, dropped off a letter at Senator Collins' office in Lewiston two weeks ago, asking for her support. "After that, we had amateurs in Maine write the Senator," he said; more than 40 Maine hams wrote Senator Collins.

The Senate bill points out many positive things that Amateur Radio operators do, including "provid[ing] on a volunteer basis, a valuable public sector service to their communities, their States, and to the Nation, especially in the area of national and international disaster communications."

It mentions that amateurs provided emergency and disaster relief communications services during both natural and manmade disasters. "The Amateur Radio Service has formal agreements for the provision of volunteer emergency communications activities with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service, the National Communications System, and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, as well as with disaster relief agencies, including the American National Red Cross and the Salvation Army," the bill reads.

Right now, S 1755 has been read twice in the Senate chamber and referred to that body's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. HR 2160 -- now with 27 sponsors -- is in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

-- ARRL Bulletin ARLB031

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An elderly woman was brought to the ER with a fractured hip. The ER doctor knew that surgery would be in order for the patient. "Have you ever undergone surgery?" he asked.

"Yes," the woman said. "Remember what type of surgery it was?" "I'm not sure," the old lady said. "It was a long time ago."

The physician noticed a scar on the right side of the woman's abdomen. He pointed to the scar. "Is this where you had the surgery?" he asked.

"No," said the woman. "It was in Brooklyn."

-- from AJokeADay.com, via Internet

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South African Amateur Radio Payload Reaches Orbit

After several delays, South Africa's SumbandilaSat satellite finally blasted to orbit aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 16. The main payload is a multi-spectral imager, but the satellite also carries an Amateur Radio component consisting of a 2 meter/70 cm FM repeater.

After SumbandilaSat is fully commissioned, the repeater will be activated with an uplink at 145.880 MHz and a downlink at 435.350 MHz; there will also be a voice beacon at 435.300 MHz. The transponder mode will be controlled by a CTCSS tone on the uplink frequency. The CTCSS tone frequencies have yet to be announced. SumbandilaSat was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology and was built at SunSpace in cooperation with the Stellenbosch University.

In addition to the SA-AMSAT amateur module, the satellite carries Stellenbosch University's radiation experiment and software defined radio (SDR) project, an experiment from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and a VLF radio module from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

-- ARRL Bulletin ARLS007

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A blonde walks into a pharmacy and asks the assistant for some rectum deodorant.

The pharmacist, a little bemused, explains to the woman they don't sell rectum deodorant, and never have.

Unfazed, the blonde assures the pharmacist that she has been buying the stuff from this store on a regular basis, and would like some more.

"I'm sorry says the pharmacist, "We don't have any."

But I always get it here," says the blonde.

"Do you have the container it comes in?" asks the pharmacist.

"Yes, " said the blonde, "I'll go home and get it."

She returns with the container and hands it to the pharmacist who looks at it and says to her "This is just a normal stick of underarm deodorant."

Annoyed, the blonde snatches the container back and reads out loud from the container:

"To apply, push up bottom."

-- from W1GMF via packet

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Dormitory Regulations

"The female dormitory will be out-of-bounds for all male students, so too the male dormitory to the female students."

"Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined $20 the first time. Anybody caught breaking this rule the second time will be fined $60. Being caught a third time will incur a hefty fine of $180. Are there any questions?"

At this, a male student in the crowd inquires, "Er... How much for a season pass?"

-- from AJokeADay.com via Internet

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