SCARS Weekly Newsletter, January 19, 2015

Topics this week:

NWS Spotter Training …

Contrarian’s View of HB4969 (but YES to SDR) …

Michigan Antenna Law passed and signed by Governor …

Near-realtime Propagation Map …

WebSDR (Software Defined Radio) for you to test …

K1N Navassa Press Release 17 January 2015 …

New General Class Question Pool Released …

Horizontal Loop Antenna Build …

HF Experimental Licenses …

How NOT to give away your personal information

Courtesy WX5MOR, Gayland (Moore EM):

The annual weather spotter class for Oklahoma/Cleveland/McClain counties will be Tuesday, March 31st, 7pm, at the National Weather Center in Norman.

The class is FREE and no pre-registration is required.

This class is designed to provide fundamental information that storm spotters need to know, including:

Identification of key weather features;

Proper reporting procedures;


The session is about 2 hours in length.  Our instructor will be a meteorologist from the Norman National Weather Service Forecast Office.

Whole Norman-area Schedule (so far) here:

From 2014, but topical today. Gary Pierce, KN4AQ, hosts N8MSA who says HB4969 is bad. They also talk SDR, which both agree is Good!


“Last episode Gary monologed a bit on the topic of House Bill 4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act. This would extend PRB-1 coverage to the private contracts constituting CC&R’s, Homeowner’s Associations rules, etc. You might think that it’s universally popular among hams, but there are some exceptions. Viewer Mike Alexander N8MSA is one. The idea of the federal government intruding on a private contract (the agreement you signed when you bought your house), goes against his political philosophy. We expect to do several more shows on this subject as it progresses, and we thought we’d look at this aspect first, and keep it in mind as we go forward.

Meanwhile, Mike is a ham who’s very interested in SDR (Software Defined Radio), stuff like FlexRadio, and more fundemental like HPSDR. He’s had a Flex 6700  for several months, and some of the commercialish HPSDR radios. So once we thrashed the 4969 topic sufficiently (or more), we continued with a basic dissusion of SDR, including his experience with the Flex 6700, compared to HPSDR. It hits about 40 minutes into the show, if you get impatient.” 

Michigan Passes, Governor Signs Antenna Accommodation Legislation (via ARRL)

Ten years of work within the ARRL Michigan Section have culminated in an Amateur Radio antenna bill that mirrors the “reasonable accommodation” provisions of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy. Michigan Gov Rick Snyder signed the measure, Senate Bill 0493, into law on January 15, creating Public Act 556. Senator Rick Jones sponsored the bill. ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp, WB8R, said Michigan is the 31st state to have a PRB-1 bill on its books.

“The current PRB-1 Team has been working for 3 years to get this accomplished,” he said. “Our bill endured four votes on its way to becoming law — Senate and House committees and the Senate and House floors. Each vote was unanimous.”

Entire article here:

Near-Real-Time MUF Map

Go to the link below, read what it does, and try it out.


At the last club meeting, Jeff, KT5OK, was waxing poetic about his new Alinco DX-SR9T, which includes SDR as a part of the radio. Serendipitously, N5UWY forwarded to me the following link of WebSDR resources available on the web for you to test drive. In short, they are SDR receivers worldwide that are multi-user/multi-frequency radios. You might even want to check to see if you could hear yourself on the air! Wait, wouldn’t that be like going back in time and meeting yourself when you were 15? Too scary!

Click and Browse:

K1N Navassa Press Release 17 January 2015

Last time Navassa was on the air was 32 years ago. If you are a DXCC-hound, this is your shot.

Within two weeks the K1N Navassa DXpedition should be QRV with up to 7-8 stations. Our exact departure date will be decided at the last moment by USFWS and weather windows. The team will be arriving at our staging point a few days before the earliest possible window and will be ready for a rapid deployment. As soon as USFWS has landed on the island and declared it is safe to proceed, we will start the helicopter flights and commence operations. We hope to have a basic camp established by the end of the first day and if things go extremely well, we hope to have several stations on the air by nightfall on the second day. Helicopter deployment will continue for a total of three days before the camp is fully established. A boat landing is not possible this time of year and also helicopter sling loads off our standby vessel are impossible. . So, additional equipment and supplies will be moved ashore with manpower. This will not be an easy project!

Read all the Juicy Details here:

2015 General question pool released!

The question pool committee has released the new General class license question pool, and it is now available on!

Important! This pool will not take effect until July 1, 2015! If you are testing before then, study the previous pool.

What has changed:

  • Removed questions: 37
  • New questions: 44
  • Updated questions: 52
  • Previous Total questions: 456
  • Total questions: 464

Read more at:


The Horizontal Loop, also known as the Loop Skywire Antenna, is an old but very effective design. Although this design has been around for a long time, it is only gaining popularity now due to the recent improvement in high power antenna tuners. The main purpose of constructing this omni directional antenna is to provide a multi band antenna which performs well from the lowest frequency band for which it is designed, all the way through 10 meters. It will usually even work well on 6 meters if your tuner and balun will handle that band. It must be understood that an antenna tuner (trans match) will be necessary for use as a multi – bander, as well as the use of twin lead feed line. I recommend 450 ohm ladder (window) line as the feed line. (See bottom of this page for types of twin lead available). You will of course need a balun  near your tuner, ( I recommend a 4:1 Current Balun ), or a tuner with a built in Balun, to feed your rig’s unbalanced antenna connector. I use the MFJ- 912 (W9INN) Balun. It is a Voltage Balun, but is of good design, and works well.

Read the rest here:

List of Experimental Licenses Reveals Interesting HF Data Comm Experiments

Pretty much every mode which we have is the result of someone, somewhere experimenting with this or that. In this case, it is large corporations and Universities. It’ll be VERY interesting to see where this goes. via Amateur Radio Newsline.


The FCC recently granted two companies experimental licenses to use HF bands for data communications at far greater bandwidths and data rates than have been used by amateur radio operators. While these communication systems are being developed for the military, it’s possible some of the techniques developed could be used for digital broadcasting in the AM band, or more likely for shortwave broadcasting where sky wave propagation is important.

See more at:

Delete and erase files or give them away

Dave Moore writes a Personal Computer column in the Norman Transcript. His advice is always good. In this column he’ll tell you how to get rid of those files on your computer disks rather than just give them away when your computer leaves your hands. If you read it all, you’ll see you don’t have to pay a dime for the tools you need. Excerpt below – link to entire article after the excerpt.

Typical file deletion procedures are akin to using a permanent marker to obscure a chapter name in a book’s table of contents. The chapter doesn’t seem to exist, but it is still there.

ard-core readers of this column may recall one I wrote 10 years ago titled “Computer Forensics 101” (it’s on my website). In it, I described how difficult it can be to truly erase a file from your computer. Simply “deleting” a file and emptying the “Recycle Bin” will not get the job done. The files are still there.

Doing a thorough job of physically destroying a computer’s internal hard drive (shredding, melting, chopping, shooting, burning in thermite) can be a somewhat effective way of deleting files, but it’s messy work. It also renders the drive useless for future use, which is a silly thing to do.

The rest is here:

Nets, Links, Other Stuff in the link at the top AND in the sidebar. Have a great week!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._

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