Volume 26, Number 9 September, 1996
Copyright © 1996 by EMARC
ANNUAL HOME-BREW CONTEST September 27 7:30 PM, but come at seven to socialize.
Rules: The project must have been completed within the past year. Older projects can be shown if time permits, but they will not be eligible for prizes. Only EMARC members can win prizes, but projects of others can be shown if time permits. The prizes are $40, $30, $20, and $10 (one each). The scoring system, while innovative, will not be entered as a project. Please see October meeting announcement on page 2.
EMARC Calendar of Events
EMARC Monthly Meeting: Fourth Friday of the month (except for possible changes in June, Nov. & Dec.) at 7 PM; Business Meeting, 7:30 PM; Program starts 8 PM. At the Covington School in Los Altos; directions on last page. See specific date listings above . EMARC events are also listed on packet (to EMARC@allscv); on the N0ARY event bulletin board (type EVENT or List Clubs); and on the automatic enunciator on the W6APZ repeater (145.23-). Note: The 4th Friday is not necessarily the last Friday.
The Station Open House program for 1996 is expanding! Omri, AA6TA, will host open houses on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 PM local time on an "as available" basis. The emphasis in the Tuesday open houses will be satellite operations and HF digital modes (RTTY, AMTOR, etc.). Please check with Omri (he is available virtually anytime on the W6APZ repeater, 145.230-, 100PL before coming. This is in addition to the Wednesday open houses, typically hosted by Bob, KD6VIO. The station open houses are for EMARC members and their invited guests only. Please do not discuss on the air the exact location of the station.
EMARC NET is held Thursdays at 8 PM on the W6APZ repeater, 145.230-; the 100 Hz PL is off for the net.
10 AM net. Weekdays at 10 AM on W6APZ, 145.23- (100Hz PL). A very informal rag chew net with mostly EMARC members.
Foothill Flea Market: 2nd Saturday (starts pre-dawn), March thru September. Bring 4 quarters for the parking meters. At Foothill College, just west of I-280 at the El Monte/Moody Rd. exit in Los Altos. Talk-in: 145.27-
Project OSCAR meets following each Foothill Flea Market about 11 AM at Harry's Hofbrau in Mt. View, 399 El Camino Real at Bonita St., north of Grant and south of Castro, on the west side of the street.
No formal program - just get to know each other and (if you wish) have lunch together
PS There is a Project OSCAR / AMSAT net every Wednesday evening at 19:30 local time on the W6APZ repeater, 145.230-, 100 Hz PL. All hams welcome - you do not need to be active on the satellites to participate.
Livermore Flea Market: 1st Sunday (starts 7 AM) year round, rain or shine. At Las Positas College, Airway Blvd. exit off I-580 just west of Livermore. Talk-in 147.120+ or 145.35-(100Hz PL). Parking is free.
The NorCal QRP Club meets following the Livermore flea market at 11 AM at the California Burger in Pleasanton, about. 2 miles from the flea market.
10-10 Net. The local net for 10 meters enthusiasts meets every Monday at 8 PM on 28.475 MHz; net control: Neal, WA6OCP.
EMARC announcement mailing list is moderated, so you cannot reply directly to the list. To subscribe, send the word "subscribe" to: firstname.lastname@example.org; For help, send the word "help"to email@example.com; For human assistance, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EMARC Relay is the official monthly newsletter of the Electronics Museum Amateur Radio Club. Club meetings are held at 7 PM on the fourth Friday of each month except January (Winter Banquet); and 3rd Friday in June, Nov. & Dec. Annual membership $20; family $25. Visitors are always welcome! Directions on the back page. Talk-in: W6APZ (145.23-, 100Hz) or W6ASH repeater (145.27- or 224.36-).
Contributions to the newsletter from members, family, and guests are earnestly
solicited! Contributions subject to editing and/or compression. ASCII files
via packet, Internet or diskettes preferred; but all readable forms welcome.
Here are the various ways to reach the editor:
VHF voice: KD6WRG on W6APZ, 145.23- (100Hz PL) 10AM net weekdays; EMARC net Thursdays 8 PM; Various other times.
Mail: 1093 Kelly Drive, San Jose CA 95129-3222
Voice: 408-996-1613 (Until 9 PM); Fax: 408-725-1036
Eyeball: at EMARC meetings.
Minutes of the EMARC Board meeting of 11/9/96 Present: Mikel, KN6QI, President; Andy, AC6GN, VP; Bill, KQ6FY, Sec.; David, KD6WRG, Relay Editor; Bjorn, KN6IW, Director. The rules for the upcoming Home Brew Contest were discussed, and a new set was formulated for this year. The reason for changing the rules was so that there would be a better distribution of votes. The purchase of packet equipment for the club station was approved. A new club activity - member's night - was discussed, based on the suggestion of Andy, AC6GN. This would involve EMARC members delivering a brief presentation on some aspect of Amateur Radio. The presentation time would be limited, and a few presentations would take place on a given night.
Due to the unacceptable noise levels at our last Banquet, a search has been
going on to find a better venue. Andy, AC6GN suggested that we have the banquet
at a Chinese Food Restaurant; possibly one on Castro St. in Mountain View.
He will be trying to find an acceptable banquet hall for our use this January.
The October meeting will have some interesting guest speakers: YOU. Anyone who
wants to can prepare a ten minute talk on any aspect of amateur radio to be
presented at the meeting. Please call Andy, AC6GN and give him the topic of
your talk and equipment needed (slide projector, VCR, ?).Andy has the
unenviable job of scheduling and choosing for topic and balance. Given the
nature of amateur radio and the propensity of our members to talk, there should
be more than enough speakers to fill the time. We could probably run our
meetings for a year on this format.
FLEA MARKET REPORT
After a Slow Start, a Fast Finish. A funny thing happened on the way to the bottom line of the EMARC-sponsored August 8th flea market at Foothill College: I got the h--- scared out of me. I was the day chairman, and the market started in a way that looked like it was going to be a financial disaster. In spite of the good weather, buyers and sellers alike were very late in arriving. At 6:30 a.m., only about 60% of the spaces were sold, and at 7:30 a.m. there were hardly any buyers wandering the aisles. I have never seen a market start this slowly; more people take their vacations in July than in August, yet the July markets have started faster. Nor can anyone offer a good explanation, other than that it was "just one of those things" that happen from time to time. With all that said, we finally did sell 150 spaces, not our usual 180-some, but an okay number (however, the new Perham-determined rate of $15.00/space helped us very much here) -and the crowd did finally show up, and the food table did sell its stuff pretty well, and it did turn out to be a success financially. Whew! Besides the new selling-space fee, as was the case last year we were again helped considerably by the new food pricing, which EMARC pioneered and most clubs have now adopted. Another contributor to the day's success was our parts table, a.k.a. Arv & Dick's Used Radio Sales (Not Inc.), run so ably by Arv WA6UUT Hamer and Dick N6ATD Baldwinson. Their contribution totaled $211.00, from which the club spent $75.00 for a heavy duty Astron power supply and 100' of RG-8 coax for our station.
Finally, I wish to thank the EMARC members who volunteered their time to make this market the success it was. Space precludes naming all of them, but a tip of the hat has to go to Bill KQ6FY Ogilvie, who, in a creative moment and with no time left to tell me he was doing it, took it upon himself to rent a large coffee maker, brew coffee, and bring it in for our 4:00 a.m. setup. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we had coffee first thing for the early sellers. Thanks again to everyone who pitched in. Volunteers are the strong backbone of our club--they're the ones who make the things we plan really happen.
It was reported on ham-tech that someone on the CB band was telling someone else that the way to reduce SWR was to paint his antenna tower with silver paint.
Would the silver paint also keep vampires from roosting on the tower? Would black paint increase the SWR? Is there an ARRL publication on this?
ARRL PACIFIC DIVISIONARRL PACIFIC DIVISION UPDATE
by Brad Wyatt, K6WR, Director
Pacific Division, ARRL
18400 Overlook Rd. #5
Los Gatos CA 95030-5850
(408) 395-2501 (Phone and FAX)
Bill Stevens, W6ZM, Silent Key:-
While I usually do not carry obituaries in the Update, I felt that it was appropriate in this case. Bill was the Pacific Division Director from 1978 - 1985, then was elected a Vice President in 1986. More importantly to me, he was my closest friend in Amateur Radio for over the last 30 years. He was a top notch DXer and at the Top of the DX Honor Roll for many years. Further, he was a first rate gentleman and all round good guy. I will miss Bill on the air and in person in both the Amateur Radio world and as a friend and colleague!
ARRL Files for Partial Reconsideration of FCC RF Exposure Order:-
On Aug. 1, 1996, the FCC issued a Report and Order (R&O) changing dramatically the rules under which all transmitters licensed under the FCC will be operated from an RF Safety point of view. The rule goes into effect on Jan. 1, 1997. The ARRL believes that the FCC's decision is flawed in some respects and has filed a Petition for Partial Reconsideration. While this Petition is being considered, however, the effective date of the rule remains as Jan. 1, 1997. The FCC, according to the R&O, will be issuing guidelines before the first of the year. The ARRL lab and others are also preparing guideline material. See Oct. 1996 QST, page 9, for the K1ZZ editorial, and pages 78 et seq. for more details. The text of the FCC R&O (ET Docket 93-62) can be found on the FCC web site under URL --- www.fcc.gov/oet/. Also, visit the ARRL WWW site for all the information currently known.
2m/70cm Band Threats; A Ray of Hope: -- It appears likely that little or nothing will happen in IWG2A until the November 1996 time frame when their report is due to the WRC97 Advisory Committee. So WHAT do we do now? 1. Monitor the progress of this unfolding drama! For the latest news on this volatile issue, read QST, ARRL Letter, Pacific Division Updates in hard copy. Read ARRL Letter, Pacific Division Updates on e-mail; visit Pacific Division WWW site. Visit the ARRL Home page at www.arrl.org and click on "Band Threat News." 2. Join ARRL! The ARRL is the only effective national organization fighting for YOUR 2 meter and 70 cm. hand held operating privileges. It is easy to join and help us win this battle to preserve our privileges. 3. Then write. Right now--and continue through Summer and Fall! Comments by e-mail should be sent to: email@example.com. Hard copy written comments, with an original plus one copy, should be sent to: Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554. Each comment should include at the top, "Reference No. ISP-96-005" and "Advisory Committee Informal Working Group 2A." We must keep up this activity consistently throughout the Summer and Fall until November. See further background information in previous Pacific Division Updates (see the Pacific Division WWW site -- pacific.arrl.org), QST and the ARRL WWW site. Since the last Update, another group, Working Group 8D, which involves the Little LEO folks charged with providing the technical support for their proposal have apparently withdrawn their document describing their proposed support and compatibility studies. Oversimplified, if there is no supporting technical documentation or study, then there is little likelihood that the proposal will be adopted. Further, all technical support documentation must be ready for meetings in Geneva in late Oct. 1996. Even though the above news sounds good, caution is still in order. There always can be attempts to end-run the preparatory process. We won't be able to breathe easily about WRC-97 issues until the final gavel, more than 14 months from now.
1296 MHz Band Threat -- Here also there may be a ray of hope -- in a recent series of government meetings it appears that in addition to the originally proposed 1258.29 MHz frequency another powerful group favors 1207.14 MHz and yet another powerful group favors 1309.7 MHz. A decision is due by Oct. 31, but the apparent odds are for 1309.7 MHz, but of course nothing is for certain. We must always remember, however, that amateur radio is secondary to radiolocation and navigation systems in the 23 cm band. 2400 MHz Band Threat -- In late August, several commenters on this petition (RM 8837), including the ARRL, filed Reply Comments opposing this petition on various grounds. Essentially, the ARRL Reply Comments stated among other points that this frequency band had already been the subject of rule making and there was no need to reopen this frequency band to discussion again. 5800 MHz Band Threat -- This threat is by NPRM ET Docket 96-102, based on the petitions from Apple Computer and WINForum, to grant access to the Amateur Radio Spectrum from 5725-5875 MHz band for the NII/SUPERNET proposal for free spectrum for very high data rate LANs and other activities for schools, libraries, hospitals. ARRL and many other Comments opposing the NPRM were filed on July 15, 1996, and were followed up by opposing Reply Comments on Aug. 14, 1996. It is very unclear what will happen in this NPRM as the FCC Commissioners want to grant something to this service, but how far they will go is unknown.
U. S. Senate Bill Proposes That CB RFI Be Regulated by Local Authorities:- Wisconsin Senator Feingold has introduced S 2025 which would give state, county and local governments the ability to prohibit the use of unauthorized CB transmitters or amplifiers and to issue fines and other sanctions against operators using such equipment. Obviously, this bill, if passed, has the potential to create problems for amateur radio operators. ARRL has been working with Senator Feingold's staff and others on Capitol Hill to modify the proposed bill. See DC Currents, Oct. 1996 QST, p. 15.
Vanity Calls Extra Class Gate 2 Opens Sept. 23:-
See Special Edition Pacific Division Update Aug. 23, 1996, ARRL Letters and QST Oct. 1996, page 79 for details. ARRL has established a one-stop vanity call sign page at www.arrl.org/fcc/vanity.html.
[Note: This information was too long to include in the Relay. It should be in QST. If you need it and don't have Internet access or subscribe to QST, give me a call. DW]
EXTRA CLASS VANITY CALLSIGNS -- GATE 2 OPENS SEPTEMBER 23, 1996
For further information, contact the Consumer Assistance Branch at 1-800-322-1117.
Note that this information is also available on the ARRL Web site.
More on the Third 2.4 GHz Repeater Now Active in the Bay Area:- In the Sept. Update, I omitted the names of the key persons responsible for the third 2.4 GHz repeater in the Pacific Division, as well as the fourth one to come -- thanks are also due to Dave Niemann, K6DHI, and Sean Fitzharris, KE6MOW.
New Volunteer Consulting Engineer Appointed in the Pacific Division:- It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dick Adler, K3CXZ, of Monterey CA as a new Volunteer Consulting Engineer! Welcome to the team, Dick!
Pacific Division Convention - Pacificon96 Oct. 18-20, 1996, at the Concord Hilton Hotel in Concord CA. Details can be found on the Pacific Division Home Page at pacific.arrl.org or by calling (510) 932-6125; e-mail Pacificon@designlink.com or at www.mdarc.org. The Mt.Diablo ARC (MDARC) is the sponsor again this year.
AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE
NEWSLINE IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE A Special report from Andy Jarema Support Fund Administrator "Newsline support fund administrator, with some very bad news. My job is to make sure that the bills get paid, and I'm here to tell you that I'm about to pull the plug. Pull the plug on over 19 years of responsible, up to the minute reporting of the news that matters to you, the radio amateur. There's been a fleet of caring amateurs, just like you, bringing you the news as it happens. As amateurs, we're committed to the concept of bringing you that news voluntarily, without monetary compensation." "Many of you have stepped up to the plate to help us, and we appreciate every effort. But the sad fact is that it takes an average of $1000 per month to keep Newsline on the air, with the on-line services, long distance to get the voices of the news when it happens, phone lines for the news feeds, postage services, and the like. For the past two years, voluntary contributions have averaged less than $500 per month. I don't have to ask you to do the math." "How many amateur radio clubs are there in the U.S., or in the many other countries where Newsline is heard, or even more where it is now read and heard on the Internet? If each club would contribute just $50 to $100 a year to keep Newsline on the air, you would achieve the goal of keeping the latest amateur radio news flowing to you." "As an MBA, and a CPA, and owning, building, then selling my own business, I don't like losing propositions. You've heard hams refer to "hitting the Big Switch". Newsline report number 1000, on October 11th will be our last newscast, unless you help now in a major way. We have no choice." "Again, our address: Newsline Support Fund PO Box 660937 Arcadia, CA 91066-0937. It's up to you..."
WIND PROFILERS ARE BACK A new version of an old adversary to amateur radio 70 centimeter operation is reappearing, and this time with full government support. Well, here we go again. The newest threat to the amateur 440 MHz band has been announced by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. WPRs or Wind Profiler Radar units operating in the 449 MHz segment of the amateur UHF band are scheduled for deployment in the near future. To a number of sites throughout the continental U.S.. WPRs will be used to monitor wind velocity and direction. Frequency coordination, spectrum allocations, as well as possible in band interference are being monitored by the Federal Communications Commission and the International Telecommunications Union. And in a related item, the FCC and ITU are again under fire for possible spectrum sharing by our friends the Little LEOs, or Low Earth Orbiting satellites. This latest study into the possible frequency sharing has stirred the souls of the radio and broadcast industry with their inquires into 620-790 MHz band. Where will the Little LEOs end up? We're not sure, but they sure aren't making many new friends. The irony of the Little LEO controversy is that their big brothers, the so called Big LEOs will probably be in orbit and providing the same projected services, long before the Little LEOs get the new spectrum that they are after. Its all but an exercise in futility, but one with tens of millions of dollars hanging in the balance and ham radio as a pawn in a high stakes corporation versus corporation chess game.
ARRL ASKS FCC FOR MORE TIME TO AMEND EXAMS for its VEC and other volunteer examiner coordinators to add questions about RF safety to Amateur Radio exams. The request, filed August 12th in the form of an emergency motion asks the Commission to put off the deadline to add the new exam questions to July 1, 1997 for Element 2 and 3A examinations and to July 1, 1998, for Element 3B examinations. Those dates coincide with the already planned implementation dates for new examinations based on revised question pools. Work to revise the question pools for Elements 2 and 3A has been under way for more than a year. Work on the Element 3B question pool will not begin until December. The FCC Report and Order 96-326, issued August 1st, seemingly requires that VECs immediately add five questions to each of the three affected examination elements. The provisions of the Report and Order became effective when they were published in the Federal Register on August 7th.
NOC-HSV The small number of no-coders who attended a Newsline sponsored seminar session on codefree licensing at the Huntsville Hamfest agree that its time to do away with the Morse code entirely. Most expressed the view that only two classes of license are really needed any longer. These would be limited time duration entry level where you either upgrade in two years or you are out. The other license would be a more advanced radio amateur with full high frequency operating privileges. Neither would require mandatory Morse code testing, but all agreed that higher written exam standards, with emphasis on proper on the air etiquette should be put in place.
OVERSEAS ACCUSATIONS REFUTED From overseas, word that hams in Italy and several other nations are very angry over accusations that their terrestrial operations interfere with satellite communications. They say that like it or not, they are legal and that they can run FM and repeaters where they please. Packet and Internet postings from hams in Italy say that the Italian Telecom Ministry allows them to operate on 435-436 as a primary service and on 432-434 MHz and 436-438 MHz as secondary. That no mention is made in Italian communication law of separate satellite subbands. As such, the FMers say that they are free to do as they please. The Italian Amateur Association has requested that all of its members use and respect the IARU bandplan and the organization has had some success. But non members can and often do operate where they want using any mode that is legal. Because of the way that the rules are written, no action to prevent them from using satellite frequencies will be taken by the government agency.
UK: NO MORE 934 MHz CB The United Kingdom will cancel its 934 MHz Citizens Radio band on December 31st of 1998 and the band will be converted to a commercial digital telephone service. The current 27 MHz United Kingdom CB service will continue to be available until further notice from the UK Radio Communications Agency.
THREE DETAINED IN MESA INTERFERENCE CASE Three people have been detained in Mesa Arizona for interfering with emergency service and Amateur Radio communications and others may be taken into custody in the case. On Friday evening August 16th and Saturday morning August 17th Mesa police, with the help of Arizona Repeater Association's Interference Committee, FCC personal and several Mesa hams, executed search warrants and detained three individuals who were suspected of causing interference. This by transmitting on police, fire, and several other agencies channels. Their alleged interference consisted of transmitting false officer emergency calls, hot tones, using profanity and describing sex acts on the police channels. This has interfered with police and fire traffic and caused delays in the ability to dispatch emergency traffic. Local Mesa hams say that they believe that these same individuals are also believed responsible for malicious interference, bomb threats, and 911 abuses on numerous local amateur repeaters. Hams say that it was these transmissions that lead the Interference Committee to their locations. Communications equipment found at their residences, including radios, computers, and even their telephones has been seized and numerous charges are pending. They could also face sanctions from the FCC as well. Its believed that at least two of the three are licensed hams.
WHITE HOUSE AND ARRL GET CB'er FINED $6000 FOR HARASSING AZ HAMS The Arizona Repeater Association, the ARRL's Amateur Auxiliary and the First Lady have teamed up to bring the wrath of the FCC down on a CB operator. A CBer who the FCC says spent the last four years harassing legitimate ham radio operators in Phoenix, Arizona. Timothy H. Hoffman has been issued the Notice of Apparent Liability to Monetary Forfeiture in the amount of $6000. This, after being charged with transmitting on the amateur bands without a valid license, willfully and maliciously interfering with the radio communications of licensed radio amateurs and failure to allow a station inspection by FCC personnel. The action against Hoffman comes after members of the Arizona Repeater Association working hand in hand with the ARRL's Amateur Auxiliary went the political route. According to Lance Halle, KC7FVX of the Arizona Repeater Association, for about four years Phoenix repeaters have been plagued with what he termed as vile, malicious interference. The alleged culprit would mimic legal hams, use their callsign and cause all sorts of vulgar interference. Especially with nets and phone patches. Halle says that the CBer had several followers and that they would selectively wage war on one ham after another. This included death threats and phone harassment to blind ham perpetrated via area autopatches. Halle tells Newsline that almost two years ago Arizona Repeater Association's Local Interference Committee located the individual, and turned him in to the FCC. At that time there was still a manned monitoring facility nearby in Douglas, Arizona. The agents running the facility had been following this interference for several years and were delighted with the information supplied by the ham radio group. They were quick to pay him a visit one evening while he was singing vulgar lyrics over a Swap Net and issue a Notice of Violation. That stopped him for a couple of months, but soon he was back on the air. He taunted local hams telling everyone that even the FCC couldn't stop him. KC7FVX says that the Interference Committee and it's staff of Official Observers continued to DF, record, and document his activities. Since he was unlicensed they forwarded this info to both ARRL and FCC. After about a year of no action, with the approval of the ARRL they began a letter writing campaign to congress and the President of the United States. Enter the White House and the first lady. A few weeks ago Halle says that received a letter from the Chief of the FCC's Compliance and Information Bureau. It stated -- and we quote -- "First lady Hillary Clinton requested I answer your inquiry." The FCC official went on to indicate she was aware of the case, but since it was under investigation, she could not divulge any information. Shortly thereafter Halle received responses from three congressmen who had also heard from the FCC. The big surprise came when the $6000 Notice of Apparent Liability was issued to Hoffman. Halle says that it seems the system does work, but needs a little help now and again from congress. He says that A lot has been learned from this experience, both locally and by ARRL. That the ARRL's volunteer Official Observer program and Local Interference Committees are effective in combating this type of problem although sometimes you do have to go the political route. Halle adds that none of this would have been possible without the hard work of the ARRL's Amateur Auxiliary to the FCC. Hoffman was given the usual thirty days to respond to the Notice of Apparent Liability. At air time it is unknown if he plans to file an appeal.
LEGAL SEMINARS AT ARRL CONVENTIONS A Continuing Legal Education seminar with a long title will be presented at two ARRL conventions during October. Called "Land Use Regulation of Federally Licensed Communications Facilities and the Doctrine of Federal Preemption" its first outing will take place when ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, N3AKD, and Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, will present the seminar. This, at the New England Division Convention, October 4, at the convention site, the Holiday Inn, Boxboro, Massachusetts. Imlay and Phil Kane, K2ASP, will present a CLE seminar October 18th, at Pacificon '96, at the Hilton Hotel, Concord, California. Credits will be available for both seminar sessions for a nominal fee. Otherwise, the seminars are free.
PHASE 3 D LAUNCH DATE APPROACHING The launch of ham radios next shining star could come a lot earlier than previously thought. Construction of AMSAT's Phase 3D satellite is well along and the French have now cleared the Ariane 502 booster to fly. Phase 3D is more than just a replacement for the aging Oscar 13. The technology being carried to space by this bird will usher in a whole new era in ham radio orbital relay communications.
DX In other DX news, look for G4FUI on the air from Lesotho portable 7P8. Martin plans to operate both CW and SSB. You have until early December to work him. QSL via G4FUI. And WA4DAN plans to operate portable CY0 from Sable Island from October 22nd to the 29th, including the CQ World Wide SSB Contest. Other team members are AH9C, KW2P, VK2BEX, and AA4VK. TT8SP has been very busy from Chad. Check out 18.070 MHz at 16:30 UTC, 10.102 MHz at 23:30 UTC and between 14.003 to 14.019 MHz after 20:00 UTC. He has also been on the low end of 80 meters at 04:30 UTC. QSL via F5OIJ.
HIRED HACKER And finally, what do you do when you lock yourself out of your computer and can't remember your password? Hire a computer hacker of coarse. That's what a California school district did a few weeks ago, and repercussion are being heard statewide. It seems that students at Palisades Park High School needed transcripts to send off with college applications, but they were all in the school computer and nobody who knew the password could be reached. The school principal was away on vacation and could not be reached. Another employee had suffered a stroke and everyone else was either on vacation or away working at other jobs. So the school superintendent apparently gave the green light to hire a hacker. But not just any hacker. The person hired was a sixteen year old who was able to break the secret code and get the needed transcripts out. And he did not work for free. After he completed his mission he billed the school system $875 based on a fee of $25 an hour. Right now school officials are still trying to justify the expense to the school board. That could go on for some time. But it should make us all ask the question of who says that there is no entrepreneurial spirit left in today's youth?
Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF Newsline Producer & Editor
Newsline is copyright 1996 & All Rights Are Reserved.
WRTC REPORT PART 2
Dave Pruett, K8CC and Stan Stockton, K5GO were the operators at our station in the recent WRTC contest. Here are some of their observations:
We were met at the station by EMARC members Omri, AA6TA and Arv, WA6UUT. At first glance the station was not very imposing. We didn't get our big tri-bander, however the shot to the northwest and east looked pretty good although the big hills to the west were not too far away. [We] spent three hours messing with the 40 meter dipole before discovering the culprit was the nearby 80 meter dipole. The location was not particularly quiet RF-wise, and the S-meters rumbled at approximately S5 with no signal on 40M. The shack was pretty small so we had to remove almost all of their existing equipment to to make room for our gear. There was just enough room in the shack for three chairs - one for each of the operators and one for the referee. The club brought out a small Red Cross trailer for us to use on breaks. We kept food in styrofoam picnic coolers, field day style, and the bathroom was several hundred feet away across an asphalt parking lot. In order to ventilate the shack, we had to keep the door open to the outside (immediately next to the SWL) radio. Fortunately, the weather was perfect throughout the contest.
EMARC Amateur Radio Classes
The EMARC club periodically sponsors amateur radio classes to train people to obtain their amateur radio licenses, or to simply upgrade. These classes are open anyone who is interested.
To reserve a place in the classes listed below, or for more information, contact Steve Whitt, KE6YQP at 415-961-6755 (leave a message on the machine) or send e-mail to Steve.Whitt@centurasoft.com
General Class Upgrade
The club has organized a General Class upgrade class to be held on 5 consecutive Tuesday nights in October. This class is designed to help those with a Technician, Technician Plus, or Novice class license to pass the General class written examination. There is also code training to increase your code speed from 5 WPM to the required 13 WPM for the General Class license. This code training portion will be given over the air nightly at 10:00 PM on the SPECS 145.270 repeater, during the month of October.
Students are encouraged to tune in to these sessions as often as possible, or to spend 20 minutes each day practicing on their own.
Dates: Tuesdays (Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29)
Code: 30 minutes per night, Theory: 2.5 hours per night
Code practice for the General Class License class will be given at 10:00 PM nightly in October on the SPECS 145.270 repeater. Freq: 145.270 nightly (in October)
Two Day NO CODE Technician Class
The club has also organized a class to enlist new members into the amateur radio hobby. This is a two day intensive class designed to help people to get their first amateur radio license. This class will be held on November 9 and 10 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Because of the pace of this class, students are strongly encouraged to read the text before the class.
You don't need a technical background to learn! Emphasis on the fun, the variety, and the equipment of amateur radio activities, as well as preparing to pass the exam. Dates: Saturday & Sunday (Nov. 9, 10) 9 AM to 5 PM.
Mountain View Police-Fire Administration Auditorium
Cost: $25 for the class
Code Training There is help available for those wishing to work on the code. There is a code practice session every Wednesday night at 7:30 PM on the K6FB repeater at 145.450 MHz. The session starts out at 5 WPM and increases in steps up to 20 WPM. This station can be heard throughout the south San Francisco Bay Area.
Do a Good Turn for Amateur Radio and Scouting The weekend of October 19-20 will be the 39th annual Jamboree-on-the-Air, JOTA. This is a wonderful way to introduce scouts to Amateur Radio. Going back to the years when EMARC had its station in the original location, we have invited local scouts to see our set up and talk with scouts at other stations. Generally the EMARC enthusiasm has been high, but the attendance by Scouts has been low. Seems they always had a hike or some other conflict. This year things will be different, the Pacific Skyline Council, which covers the area from Mountain View through Burlingame, will be having a major camporee the same weekend as JOTA. The QTH is Huddard Park, which is above Woodside. 2500 scouts are expected to attend. What a wonderful opportunity to put an Amateur Radio station! AA6PZ has been involved with some of the preliminary planning for Campex '96. There a good high location for a station complete with electricity. What we need is a small team hams to set up and operate in a pseudo Field Day operation. Activities will probably consist of one HF and one 2 meter station, but could easily be changed to fit the interests of the hams. (Anyone want to do satellite?) Set up Friday afternoon/evening. Most of the operating Saturday. QRT during the night, and possibly some more operating Sunday morning before tack down. Operation is very relaxed. This is not a contest to make points, but an event to share the excitement of Amateur Radio by demonstrating our hobby for with a lot of potential young hams.
Sun Spots Explained.
The August 1996 issue of Scientific American had an excellent article titled, The Stellar Dynamo. It explains the mechanism behind sunspots and the 11 year cycle familiar to hams.
To briefly summarize the article, the cycle begins with the sun having no sunspots, and a magnetic field similar to the earth. Magnetic field lines arc through space from the north pole to the south pole, and complete the path by going straight through the sun.
The sun is so hot that the hydrogen and helium atoms are ionized; the electrons have been separated from their nuclei. The resultant gas is an excellent electrical conductor. It is well known that if a conductor moves through a magnetic field (or vice versa) an electric current will flow.
Since the sun is not a rigid body, its equator rotates somewhat faster than the regions closer to the poles. This difference of rotation should cause an enormous current. However, since this would waste a tremendous amount of energy, instead what happens is that the magnetic field gets pulled and distorted by the rotating conducting gas.
After a while the magnetic field, that had originally been straight, gets wrapped up around the sun's equator. Eventually the situation builds to the point that field lines loop out of the sun's surface and into space. The places where they exit and re-enter the sun's surface are also a disruption in the normal boiling of heat from the suns interior. Because they are somewhat less hot than the rest of the surface they appear dark. A pair of sunspots has formed. One will be a magnetic north pole and the other a south pole.
The pair of sun spots next drifts away from the suns equator toward the closer of the suns magnetic poles where the magnetic field lines can reconnect and eliminate some of the kinks. It so happens that the south pole sunspot will get to the sun's north pole before its partner. This causes a partial cancellation of the sun's magnetic field. After a period of 11 years, the magnetic field will once again be straight and simple; but there will be a south magnetic pole where there was once a north magnetic pole. Every 11 years the sun does a complete reversal.
The original article went into much more detail, including illustrations and data from other stars.
Copyright © 1996 by EMARC