Olympia Amateur Radio Society

ARRL Special Service ClubWatts News

Monthly Newsletter of the

Olympia Amateur Radio Society

P.O. Box 2861, Olympia, WA 98507

  September 2008
Edited by George Lanning  KB6LE 

Table of Contents

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From the Oval ShackPresident's Message

Hello Everyone --

School has started this academic year and as hard as it is for me to believe, my firstborn (KD7WXL) is now a senior in High School and my "baby" (KE7NVS) is a freshman. Hurricanes have been in the news and our fuel prices may be affected. Lastly, John McCain has chosen Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska as his Vice Presidential running mate. I think that covers the news so far this month on a general front -- that was shorter than even the top of the hour news bulletins on the radio.

On a closer front, you all know, or should anyhow, Jason Dean of the American Red Cross has offered us the use of a meeting room at their local facility. I mentioned this on the Tuesday night net about a month ago, asking people to note reasons they are in favor or against meeting there. I also mentioned it in last month's newsletter with the address. In addition, I asked to be emailed anything that came to mind prior to our August meeting in case someone had concerns but was unable to attend the August meeting. I did learn we had met there some years ago, but moved out when there was talk about charging OARS to meet there. The only concern mentioned at the meeting was being charged for use of the room. Jason indicated he would have a Memorandum of Understanding (or is it a Notice of Understanding) written up acknowledging our presence there would be providing a desired service for the Red Cross.

At the meeting we also discussed the possibility of changing our meeting night because OARS meets on the same nights as the Radio Club of Tacoma. Some of our members would like to attend those meetings as well, but are unable to, and some other local hams attend their meetings rather than ours. If we met on another night of the week or month, both sets of people would be accommodated. Jason indicated that they might be able to accommodate us on a different night, but he would likely need at least ninety days advance notice for scheduling their events. He has since called me and left a message indicating Mondays and Fridays are the best choices at this time for new meeting nights, otherwise he has us on their calendar starting in January.


-- Klaus (AC7MG)

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Minutes of OARS Meeting August 27, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 1901 hours at the Thurston County EOC by President Klaus Neubert, AC7MG.

After roll call, the opportunity of holding future (2009) OARS meetings at the Olympia Red Cross building was discussed. It was moved and seconded that this change would be made, and the vote was favorable. A Memorandum of Understanding between OARS and the local chapter will be signed.

Ham radio license classes will be scheduled for a future date.

There was a discussion of changing OARS meeting nights to avoid conflicting with meeting nights of the Tacoma (W7DK) ham club, but this idea was rejected.

OARS posters for the coming Emergency Preparedness Fair were discussed.

Ken, K7VOX, introduced the State RACES Officer, Robert Purdom, AD7LJ, who discussed emergency communication in the state, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

A video was shown, entitled "Knowing your Resources," regarding what ham radio can do for you. Following this, a possible visit to the state EOC at Camp Murray was discussed. This may happen in October.

Also discussed were the EOC to EOC exercises that can occur on any 5th Saturday of any month containing a 5th Saturday.

Announcements included notation of the annual Pasta Dash, a 5K-10K run scheduled for September 13th, for which we normally provide communications; a road rally in Pomeroy, WA being handled by Lee, KI7SS; and a future ham radio class also being handled by KI7SS.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 2100 hours.

Respectfully submitted,

-- Paul G. Taylor, KC7LA, OARS Secretary

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Concerned about Too Many Carbs in Your Diet?

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health.

It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

-- from Klaus, AC7MG

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Treasurer's Report

As of 8/31/08

    GENERAL FUND (checking account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,662.13

            Income                 0.33

            Expenses             106.77

        Ending balance         1,555.69

    REPEATER / PACKET FUND (savings account)

        Previous balance     $ 1,015.98

            Income                 0.00

            Expenses               0.00

        Ending balance         1,015.98

-- Ed Fitzgerald, N7WW, Treasurer

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The 75 Meter Band

The ARRL's very own Doctor, author of the popular QST column "The Doctor Is IN," answers a question from his mailbag:

Question: John Hoffman, KJ4GER, of Woodstock, Georgia, asks "I am reading the 'ARRL General Class License Manual' http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9965. In a few places, it mentions the 75 meter band. On my ARRL-provided 'US Amateur Radio Bands' chart, it shows an 80 meter band and a 60 meter band, but no 75 meter band. What is the 75 meter band, and why does it not show up on the official band chart?"

The Doctor Answers: John, 75 meters is an designation for the 3.6-4.0 MHz phone band, a portion of the 3.5-4.0 MHz 80 meter allocation. If you convert 4.0 MHz to wavelength (300/4) you will find that the top end of the band has a wavelength of 75 meters.

Historically, 75 meters refers to the voice portion of the "official" 80 meter band. The term 80 meters is often used to refer to the entire band. Most HF radios have a bandswitch position for 80 meters that covers the entire band, not one for 75 meters. Unlike any other band, you will rarely hear anyone refer to "80 meter phone." I cannot offer any logical explanation for the anomaly -- perhaps someone will fill us in on how this came to be.

If you know the answer to this question, send an e-mail to the Doctor <doctor@arrl.org>. Do you have a question or a problem? Send your questions via e-mail <doctor@arrl.org> or to "The Doctor," ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 (no phone calls, please). Look for "The Doctor Is IN" every month in QST, the official journal of the ARRL.

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OARS Net check-ins

The following stations checked in on the OARS General Information Net on August 19:


Net control station reporting for the month was Steve Ward, WC7I. 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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Be an Official Observer

Hi Everyone,

My name is Scott Douglas, W7XC, the 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 "Technical Specialist" volunteers who have the knowledge to assist them in effecting corrections.

Currently, we are looking for volunteers in every district in Western Washington Also, we want to establish an OO in every affiliated club in the Western Washington Section. This way, the individual club's 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 discuss the program.

Official Appointment Description for Official Observer: http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/ooc.html

The Amateur Auxiliary of the FCC: http://www.arrlorg/FandES/field/org/am_aux.html

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

-- Scott Douglas

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Military Wisdom

-- from Klaus, AC7MG

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W3GE Silent Key

We note with great sadness the untimely death of OARS life member and former president Jeff Withers, W3GE

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NOAA Weather Radio Month

By proclamation of the Lewis County Board of County Commissioners, September has been designated as "NOAA Weather Radio Month." This proclamation supports the September statewide "National Preparedness and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness" observance.

The month-long campaign is to encourage local residents in preparing themselves for the winter storm season by purchasing and using a NOAA Weather Radio.

On September 24, 2008 at 3:00 PM the National Weather Service will be conducting a dedication ceremony for the new Randle/Packwood NOAA weather radio at Bennett Road. The location for the ceremony is the Randle Fire Station, located at 9978 US Highway 12.

Weather Radios enable you to monitor weather-related forecasts, watches, and warnings 24-hours a day direct from the National Weather Service. Weather Radios can have a warning alarm feature, instantly alerting the listener to fast-breaking warning information specifically related to our region.

The warning alarm operates in a muted mode and is activated by the local National Weather Service when a warning message is transmitted. Some models activate serial warning features for the impaired, and have a battery backup system in case of power outage.

The system is part of the Lewis County Emergency Alert "all-hazards" warning system (EAS), that is used not only for immediate flood and weather related events, but also hazards like volcanic activity, hazardous chemical accidents, AMBER child abduction alerts and secondary hazards from terrorism and earthquakes.

Under a 1975 White House policy statement, NOAA Weather Radio was designated the sole government operated radio system to provide hazard warning information direct to the American people. NOAA Weather Radio is the perfect complement to local broadcast weather news, as well as the Internet and other weather information sources.

Weather radios are available at most radio electronic retailers and internet outlets. For additional information on NOAA Weather Radio Month please contact Lewis County Emergency Management at (360) 740-1151.

-- ARRL Western Washington Section Manager James Pace, K7CEX

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South Africa Special Event Station

Dear Amateur Radio Club,

Will you please let as many of your people as possible know that on the 24 September 2008 two special event stations will be on air operating on SSB and morse code on 20M, 40M and maybe 80m from South Africa.

The 24th is Heritage day in which we celebrate our history. So ZS4SRK club station will be operating from an old historical building the block house on this day. Special event station ZS08TV might also be operating on this day from the old meat plant which now houses the club house of the Vaal Amateur Radio Club.

We have heard from the the powers that be that confirmation of our special event call sign ZS08TV is on the way. ZS4SRK will be on 20m and 40m, and maybe 80m SSB, while ZS08VT will be on 20m and 40m SSB and on Morse code on 20 m around 14115 and on 40 m -- maybe also on 80m SSB.

It would be nice to work as many guys as possible so please tell everyone.

Thanks 73


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PNWHFS Conference

News Release

Pacific Northwest VHF Society


Contacts: Kevin Imel, Vice-President PNWVHFS, vicepres@pnwvhfs.org You are invited to join Pacific Northwest weak signal VHF, UHF and Microwave operators at the Best Western Lake Front Hotel and Conference Center in Moses Lake, Washington, for the Annual Pacific Northwest VHF Conference October 3 - 5, 2008. Membership in PNWVHFS is not required for conference attendance.

This year we will feature a great lineup of speakers and programs including our keynote speaker Joe Taylor, K1JT, Nobel Laureate and "father" of WSJT, Software for VHF Meteor-Scatter Communication.

Also speaking will be:

"Early Bird" drawing: Register by September 8 and you could win one free night at the Best Western Lake Front Hotel, a conference registration fee refund or $25 in cash!

We also have a nice table of other door prizes to be given away at the conference by random drawing.

Check the www.pnwvhfs.org website for the latest conference details and registration forms.

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Vanity Call Sign Fees to Increase

On August 11, the Federal Communications Commission announced that the cost of an Amateur Radio vanity call sign will increase 60 cents, from $11.70 to $12.30. Now that notice of the increase has been published in the Federal Register, the increase will take effect in 30 days, September 25, 2008.

-- ARRL Bulletin ARLX008

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