SCARS Weekly Newsletter February 17, 2017

February Club Meeting Aftermath
What The Phase?

Elk City Hamfest – 3/4/17
Ham Radio 2.0: Episode 79
Dates To Remember
Blog Update Notifications

Collector & Emitter
Weekly “Memories” Nag
The Doctor Is In
Latest ARRL Letter
ARRL DX Bulletin
Amateur Radio Newsline
Ham Nation
Odds and Ends 
Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles  _…_._

February Club Meeting Aftermath

We had “58” people at last Saturday’s Club Meeting. And as a reminder, bring your comfy folding chairs with you so that you and others can sit. There are only 40 chairs in the Fire Training Center, so you either bring a chair or stand when you come late. But this is a GOOD problem to have!

Incoming President Rodney had his first time in The Chair since we were weathered-out in January. We heard from Mike Rockney, KE5WQC, about the Memorial Marathon. As always, they need Amateur Radio support. You can signup to help here: Mike needs 79 Amateurs to cover what needs covering.

This year is SCARS 40th Anniversary. There will be celebrations and special events through the year. Stay tuned.

The Fall Picnic is September 9th. Book it.

Peter reported 5 new Techs & 4 upgrades to Extra at February’s test session.

N5UWY’s talk about DXKeeper (part of the DXLab Suite) was excellent and absolutely no one left early.

It was a great start for the year. See you in March!

What The Phase?

On Thursday morning, I said to my bride, Linda, “I’m going to Ham Coffee to find a lead article for Friday’s Newsletter”. And I did go. And I did find a lead article. But it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting…

One of our members, KG5REX, Rex, comes to coffee almost always loaded with questions, and Thursday was no different. I’d heard a few ideas for stories before Rex arrived at McDonald’s, but then Rex sat down across from me and we started to talk about electronic circuits. We bantered back and forth about that for a bit, then he asked me a question that I couldn’t answer. I should’ve known, but I hadn’t had to think about that subject for about a dozen years or so, and my brain had just written zeros all over that part of my memory. So off I went in search of “the answer” anew  That discussion revolved around residential electrical service.

Most of us don’t even think about it, we just flip the switch and it works, but electrical service is a fearful and wonderful thing. While voltages & frequencies have varied worldwide throughout the history of electrical service, the two primary versions are 120V/60Hz, mostly in the North America, and 230V/50Hz in most of the the rest of the world. There ARE variations, however. See here:

The United States is not one, large electrical grid – there are 3. The reason is that the US Power Grid grew over time, and because of geography (western interconnect/eastern interconnect) and well, because of “Texas”, there are 3. We can’t merge them (yet – see here: because their 60Hz frequencies are not in-sync. see image below.

thegrid[Source: Page 11, U.S. Depart of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability]

But we are going to focus on our little fiefdom here in this neck of the woods.

While some of us do have to know and understand (and some of us forgot) 3-phase electrical power for our jobs, the vast majority of us will only ever have to worry about Single-phase electric power. Briefly, there are 2 versions of 3-Phase power:
3-phase 4-wire, wye-connected – diagram here:
3-phase 4-wire delta-connected – diagram here:

[Read the entire page for a VERY good primer of 3-phase power:]

I went out to Rex’s QTH to get some pest-eradication equipment and in the process, we took a side-trip to his power distribution pole, scratched our head’s a bit, talked about it, and then departed. Rex’s power-drop is a schematic that most of us will have, except that most of us who live “in town” will get one of the 3 phases (A,B,C) from a distribution system, in Rex’s case, his is just the single wire “hot” phase and neutral/ground from his pole. [Note: when you look at a power pole, the lowest wire, not counting phone, cable tv, overhead fiber, is the neutral, with the either 1 or 3 overhead “hot” phases on the top.

Here are images/descriptions of 3-phase and single-phase at pole top from Bryan Ropar:

[ Note that the insulator just below the transformer is the Neutral ]


[An entertaining little video from Bryan about this can be found here: ]

Talking only Single-phase now:

There can be many possibilities when it comes to the residential distribution voltages, but one of the most common is 7200 volts. This gets dropped down via a transformer, either on the pole or on the ground, to 120/240 V. In the image below, the 7200V enters the transformer (regardless of where it is: pole or ground) in the Primary winding and is stepped down to provide both 120V and 240V via the Secondary winding.


There you have it. One wire, One phase, 2 different voltages available in your own QTH.

For more information, the link below is a GREAT read!

And this link is MORE than you ever wanted to know about our power grid:
“The Grid” source: Page 11, U.S. Depart of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability,

Elk City Hamfest – 3/4/17

28th Annual Elk City Hamfest
March 4, 2017

Elk City Community Civic Center, 1016 E Airport Industrial Rd., Elk City, Oklahoma

8:00 A. M. – ?????? P. M.
ARRL Testing 1:00 P.M.
Hamburger Supper Friday night! – 6:30 pm

Set up Friday Afternoon – (1:30 P.M.)until 9:00 P.M.

No Pre-Register this year!
$5.00 Table
$5.00 Reg. fee

Ham Radio 2.0: Episode 79

A GREAT episode from Jason about the Swiss Army Knife of Computers – the Raspberry Pi. 


Dates To Remember

Some VERY important events are scheduled in the near future which you need to put into your planner:

Feb 28 – Skywarn Training, National Weather Center, 6:30PM
(no pre-reg – just show up)

Mar 2 – SCARS VE Testing

Mar 4 – SCARS Club Meeting


Blog Update Notifications
If you do not already receive notifications of updates to the SCARS Blog, you may sign-up for those by entering info here:

 Collector & Emitter

Here is the direct link to the historical issues of CORA’s almost 30 year long, monthly publication, The Collector & Emitter. Lot’s of great stories, True and Fiction, MANY club meeting notes, Happenings in Oklahoma Amateur Radio, and for me at least, a ton of memories about the Amateur Radio Dealers which we had in the OKC area. Lots and lots of fun reading.

When you start reading these, the clock will just melt away…


 Weekly “Memories” Nag?

Keep your Memory channels on your mobile or HT sorted so you’ll have easy access to frequencies needed for Skywarn or ARES activation. That list is at the bottom of the SCARS Repeater blog maintained by our trusty Trustee, N5UWY – SCARS Repeater Blog (that underlined part is a hyperlink straight to the repeater blog). Scroll down to the Red Box at the bottom of the blog to find the recommended memory entries for you VHF/UHF equipment. 

The Doctor Is In

Many of us have enjoyed Joel Hallas’ (W1ZR) columns in QST titled
“The Doctor Is In” for years.

Now selected stuff from The Doctor is available via podcast from the ARRL.
The Latest Podcast is titled
AM and SSB
[Good way to work high latitude stations!!!]

We’re on the downhill slide to the solar minimum,
but that doesn’t mean the end of Amateur Radio enjoyment.
Even at the very bottom of the cycle there is still plenty of activity,
and plenty of ways to do it!

[Listen to it here-> The Doctor Is In Podcast ]

The Doctor’s Home page is here: The Doctor Is In

Latest ARRL Letter

Most Recent Headlines:

Read it all here: ARRL Letter

ARRL DX Bulletin

 Latest version at the top here:  ARRL DX Bulletin

Other DX links via Alexander, 4L5A:

 Amateur Radio Newsline

Latest Headlines:


Live links, Script, and Audio here: Amateur Radio Newsline – Latest News

Ham Nation

This week’s highlights:
“The Lea family comes onto the show,
fix your old speakers,
Hamcation highlights,
winter field day,
and more!

The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation

Go watch!

 Odds and Ends

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, News, Links, Repeater Info, Hamfests, Licensing, General Help & more linked from the sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG !!!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._


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