SCARS Weekly Newsletter, May 4, 2015

SCARS Monthly Meeting This Saturday . . .
Various Things Posted to the SCARS Facebook Page This Week . . .
Amateur Radio Payload Could Share Space on Geostationary Satellite . . .
Advanced Storm Spotter Training – Archive . . .
2015 West Gulf Division Annual Awards  . . .
Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles _…_._

SCARS Monthly Meeting This Saturday

SCARS meets the second Saturday of every month at 9:30 AM at Fire Station #7 on Max Westheimer Airport. At the Rock Creek and Flood (Highway 77 – North Norman) traffic signal turn West onto the airport property. FS #7 is immediately on the left.

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 9.19.56 PM

Various Things Posted to the SCARS Facebook Page This Week
(and other ‘stuff’…)

Here are some quick-hit items on the SCARS Page and elsewhere this week:

Weather Channel interview with a Kathmandu Amateur Operator

Weather & Amateur Radio Emergency Nets…all rolled into one! (kinda – sorta)

 (click link below for video…)

ARRL – the National Association for Amateur Radio

Today’s interview with Kathmandu Amateur Radio operator Satish Kharel, 9N1AA, on The Weather Channel’s “AMHQ” program. Kharel talked about ham radio’s role in recovery efforts in the wake of the earthquake in Nepal. Video courtesy The Weather Channel.

via SCARS (South Canadian Amateur Radio Society).

A Wide-band Software Defined Radio online which you can use from anywhere

Wide-band WebSDR via JO32KF

[Editor’s Note: I just KILLED several hours listening to this during the week!]

via ARRL Oklahoma Section Manager Lloyd, KC5FM re: Mount Scott;

Recently, an Oklahoma amateur radio operator received a warning while operating his radio within the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.. As a result, I had a pleasant chat with Refuge leadership. Below, Ron, AF5Q, has explained the details of the new rules. The Refuge contact related that the rule is new.

The Refuge representative advised of these new rules. Further explanation included:

1. There is NO charge for the permit.
2. The permit is REQUIRED when the operator is operating, regardless of location, for an extended period of time.
3. NO permit is required, IF the operator is mobile and using antennas attached to their vehicle. In other words, if one is doing a Summits on the Air … … which requires the station be something other than mobile, then a permit is required.

Here’s the email that followed the phone call:

*Thanks for calling today. Yes, permits are required for special amateur radio events. Within the past year or so, the Refuge’s
Comprehensive Conservation Plan addressed new requirements for permits for many public activities. The web page for the Wichita Mountains has a Permits page link that lists the different types of permits and the related uses. Permit application forms are available from that page also.

Permits are not needed for individual amateur radio operators that are passing through and stop for a short time and make a few contacts from authorized parking locations. However, vehicles that have very large
antennas that require guy wires or the need to be anchored or tied off fall into the category that require a permit.

We try to move the approval process as fast as we can but sometimes it may take awhile, so please try to get the application request in as early as possible.

Please call if you have any more questions.


Ralph Bryant
Deputy Refuge Manager
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge”

As I continue, remember the citation was a warning. Warnings are designed to bring attention to behavior which should be avoided. Warnings don’t require appearance in court or incur a fine.

From the context of previous emails, it appears that the officer used discretion in his citation. This is explained as:

“The classic example of police discretion happens when you get pulled over for speeding. Sometimes you might get a ticket, while other times you might just be let off with a warning. Oftentimes appealing to police discretion is the best way to avoid hefty fines or tickets.”

Therefore, thanks to Ron, AF5Q, and Mr. Bryant, this email serves to advise of the new regulations and how the Refuge is providing the permitting process as equitably and expeditiously as possible.

If you have an event such as Tour de Meers and/or Spirit of Survival, one can reasonably expect to apply for a permit and follow the rules regarding the use of the Federal property.

As always, the League Leadership of the Oklahoma Section stands ready to help the membership and, by extension, the amateur radio community.


Lloyd Colston, KC5FM, Section Manager

“Toothless Tigers”

Dave Sumner, ARRL CEO, uses his Editorial to take-to-task the FCC with their reducing the amount of Enforcement activity on the Amateur Bands.

“Toothless Tigers” can be found here:

For those who have not yet found the officers on the webpage, here is the list:

President: Phil Sinnett, KD5UGO
President-Elect-VP: Harold Black, W5IFN
Treasurer: Doug Forsyth, WX5DF
Secretary: Chris Pape, KE5JZN
Director at Large: Bill Baker, WG5T (appointment)
Trustee: Peter Laws, N5UWY (appointment)
Assistant Trustee: Gary Skaggs, WB5ULK  (appointment)

Also, some of you have asked about the site I use personally to track real-time lightning data. That site can be found here:

AMSAT: Amateur Radio Payload Could Share Space on Geostationary Satellite

The Logistics of getting this payload prepped and ready are enormous, not to mention the logistics of managing such a potentially popular resource. But the mind races with the potential!


There is big news on the Amateur Radio satellite front. AMSAT-NA has announced that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geostationary satellite that’s planned for launch in 2017. As opposed to the more typical low-Earth-orbit, a geostationary orbit would permit earthbound hams within its footprint to operate through the satellite essentially 24/7. According to AMSAT Vice President-Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, the satellite’s potential footprint would extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa. AMSAT said it’s accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. Past AMSAT Director and former Vice President-Engineering Bob McGwier, N4HY, said the Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by the spring of 2016.

“It is an ambitious schedule, and all involved will have to gain and maintain a serious level of commitment,” said McGwier, the Director of Research at Virginia Tech’s Hume Center for National Security and Technology. The AMSAT announcement April 25 followed an April 13 meeting at MSS to discuss the project. McGwier said the potential rideshare would be an opportunity to go forward with the AMSAT-Eagle payload, which had evolved nearly 10 years ago into a microwave payload to be flown in a geostationary orbit, although it never got a flight opportunity. Had it flown, it would have provided digital communications to small terminals on the ground and a linear bent-pipe transponder.

AMSAT President, Barry Baines, WD4ASW, said the payload would be a Phase IV geostationary Amateur Radio package. “This is an evolving development, as we collaborate with the VT Hume Center with a project that provides technical challenges to create a new Amateur Radio capability in space that will provide a variety of benefits not only for amateurs but also for emergency communications and STEM educational outreach.”

According to AMSAT, the transponder is expected to support a wide range of voice, digital, and experimental advanced communications technologies. A decision is expected soon specifying the microwave uplink and downlink bands. The satellite would be an Aquila M8 Series spacecraft.

If the Qatari E’hailsat project designed to serve IARU Region 1 is successful, two geostationary satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads could be in space at the same time.

Read the rest here: AMSAT: Amateur Radio Payload Could Share Space on Geostationary Satellite.

  Advanced Storm Spotter Training – Archive

Rick Smith from the Norman Forecast Office shared the following information about the just-completed Advanced Storm Spotter Training.

If you weren’t able to join us for our advanced storm spotter training, good news – we’ve posted a recording of the webinar on our YouTube channel:

You can also find copies of the slides from the advanced training, as well as all the other spotter webinars this season, along with other links and information here:

2015 WGD Annual Awards

See the note below from the ARRL West Gulf Division Director. There are a number of folks in Oklahoma and perhaps even SCARS which would merit a nomination for this. 3 or more of you get together and nominate someone worthy of this and then say why!

It is time to start working on your submissions for the WG 2015 Divisional Awards which will be presented at the ARRL Regional Centennial Convention at HamCom in June.   Nominations for 2015 Award Winners will be accepted until May 1, 2015.  Nomination forms for each nominee (by category) must be supported by at least three ARRL members on the award nomination form, a minimum 150-word statement and any available supporting documentation.  Other rules do apply and can be found on the nomination forms.

The Division Awards judging panel consists of four (4) ARRL members, selected by each of the Section Managers in North Texas, Oklahoma, South Texas and West Texas Sections.  The Section Manager may opt to appoint his/herself to the committee.  The fifth judge is selected by the Division Director and may reside anywhere within the West Gulf Division.   Neither the Division Director nor the Vice Director will participate in the vote.

Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles

Link below lists all the ARRL-related hamfests within a 250 mile drive of Norman for about the next 5 months. Lots of good ones close to Norman.

As always…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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