SCARS Weekly Newsletter March 31, 2017

Local Hams Make Use of City Artwork Project
NVIS Research Paper Available
ARRL Incoming QSL Bureau

$4 Satellite Antenna
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  _…_._

Local Hams Make Use of City Artwork Project

Exclusive for SCARS Newsletter, by Q.R. Zedd, A5A,

Thomas Webb WA9AFM/5, announced today that April 1, 2017 marks the first transmissions from OCAPA’s brand new 80 meter repeater project in Oklahoma City. The intended use of this recently completed project, shown here, can finally be released to the general public.

While the stated cause has always been that this is one of the required 2% local art expenditures for federal highway funds, the true nature of the project can now be disclosed.  ODOT Director of Operations, Paul Green said, “this whole project started with a rather severe reinforcing bar (rebar) accident. We signed the delivery slip for about 80,000 pounds of steel, before the truck driver unloaded his truck. One of those tornados snuck up on us, and blew the rebar into a terrible pile. It sounded like a train, just like Mike Morgan said it would.” ODOT left the pile lay, until the OCAPA Special Projects team came up with the master plan.

Webb said “the pile of rebar was stacked perfectly to make a Lazy L dipole. It appears the twin verticals increase the Q factor of the array”. Since we’ve been in a solar minimum for years, their first thought was to build the world’s first 80 M repeater. As you can see in this photo, a custom 80 meter duplexer had to be built to allow repeater operation. After a few quick calls to Wacom, they calculated that the can needed to be 50 stories tall.

Gordon Jones, W5OU, of the Honor Roll Ranch, just a hoot and a hollar south of Norman, said “this will be a great help to those that need something like this. However, with just my 80 M walkie talkie I’ve been able to obtain WAS (Worked All Stations).”

Famed QRP operators Kenn Goodson KA5KXW, and Ed Hatch AG5DV, made a confirmed QSO each other using a homebrew TX/RX setup of Kenn’s design. Their initial contact was made using transmitters that they thought were in the milliwatt range. It wasn’t until later that they realized their watt meter was rounding up from 502 nanowatts.

Once the news had traveled regarding the Goodson/Hatch success, Peter Khor, AG5DB, hurriedly downloaded an 80 M transmitter app for his Android phone. Peter will be attempting the first SSTV contact using the repeater, sending an astronomy selfie photo from here, back to JU5PITER, located on the moon Io.

When helping to obtain the needed permits, Phil Sinnett KD5UGO said, “Well, if that thing can keep my chicken wings warm from 22 miles away, I guess it probably could help with the climate change process. Let me do some calculations.”

The good people of OG&E have offered to provide their excess power from the wind farms popping up across the state. While the input power of the repeater is classified, the output power runs right up against the legal limit of 1,500 watts. Or is that megawatts?

A recently added Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) lighting system will indicate the operating status of the device. While there are numerous conditions transmitted by the colored system, the most important one is the color RED. ODOT chairman Mike Patterson states “the color red is used to signify RF transmission emissions that exceeds normal operating conditions.”. While it happens frequently, ODOT is hopeful that only out-of-state vehicles will be near, and under, the structure when this color is displayed. Patterson continued “Driving at full speed through the area should minimize the effects of the radiation upon the passing motorists. We hope.”

Nationally known DX’er, Normanite Victor McDaniel K5VL, has already commissioned a new version of the Golden Thumb award trophy. This trophy has been scaled up to match the fundamental wavelength of the 80 M repeater. The normal suspects have already filed for building permits with the City of Norman to construct a room large enough to hold this new trophy. When asked, Harold Black W5IFN, stated “This room addition has been in the works for some time, and I don’t have any expectations that I would be guilty of timing out the new repeater. For example, once when I was in the Navy, we had to add a larger engine room into a destroyer. The press initially thought that this addition would let this WWII destroyer carry more fuel for an upcoming future project. It was simply a coincidence that the minute the addition was complete…” and then the mighty 147.060 MHz repeater went silent. Denny WA6DKD, was seen exiting the Slaughterville public works complex, with a signed building permit in his hands, and would only respond “No Comment” to any question asked.

The Boathouse District Association has been an integral part of the cooling projects for the repeater transmitter. Mayor Mick Cornett says, “We’re so proud that MAPS project 385 will be able to provide multiple uses for the Boathouse district”.  Damming up the river has provided the required thermal dissipation to allow intermittent operation. Cornett also said, “The Riversport Adventures project is really an offshoot of this collaboration. So much energy was generated from the cooling system for the 80 M repeater that the entire complex is powered from this waste heat, and we can now handle a 100% transmitter duty cycle.”

At press time, the Gulf Coast Hurricane net was trying to negotiate the use of the W5MEL/80 repeater to provide an Inland relay for the upcoming hurricane season. The famed net was hoping that this could put an end to their QRM issues.

So, the next time you think the bands are going south, turn on the HF gear, grab an FM modulator, dial up CTCSS tone 141.3, tune the dial to 3.935 MHz, and wait for the repeater id beeping; .-   .–.   .-.   ..   .-..    .-..   —   —   .-.. …   !

NVIS Research Paper Available

Many Amateurs experiment with, or use on a daily basis, NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) Antennas. The ARRL published info and a link about this on Thursday. This paper is open to any with the link – you do not need to be an ARRL Member to access it. This is an in-depth scholarly article, but do NOT let that turn you aside. There is much to be learned here.

A thorough and fully annotated discussion of Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) is available in the research paper, “Radio Communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Propagation: An Overview,” by Ben A. Witvliet, PE5B/5R8DS, and Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès.

First investigated in the 1920s, NVIS propagation was rediscovered during World War II as “an essential means to establish communications in large war zones such as the D-Day invasion in Normandy,” the paper notes, adding that the US Army subsequently sponsored a lot of NVIS field research, especially between 1966 and 1973. More recently, NVIS has become a popular means to enable close-in communication on Amateur Radio HF bands between 3 and 10 MHZ. NVIS can be used for radio communication in a large area (200-kilometer radius) without any intermediate manmade infrastructure, and it has been found to be especially suited for disaster relief communication, among other applications, according to the paper.

If you missed the hyperlink in the above citation, here is the direct URL to the paper again:

ARRL Incoming QSL Bureau

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that you could ever want to know about getting real live QSL cards into your hot little hands can be found right there. If it ain’t here, you don’t need to know about it!


The ARRL W5 Incoming QSL bureau is operated by the Oklahoma DX Association. The bureau consist of volunteers who provide this valuable service to their fellow hams. Cards arrive at our P.O. Box from various sources, such as other DX bureaus around the world and the ARRL Incoming Bureau. Upon arrival, the cards are presorted by a group of volunteers. This presorting consists of grouping the cards alphabetically by the first letter of the call suffix, for example, W5ABC, WB5AFG, N5AA would all go in the same “A” stack. The presorters then return the sorted cards to the bureau manager. Each letter of the alphabet has another sorter assigned to handle the actual mailing of QSLs and notices when a ham has cards on file but no envelopes or credits. Every two months, the cards accumulated for each letter of the alphabet are mailed to the sorters. Each letter sorter is then responsible for matching up the cards with envelopes and mailing when enough cards are accumulated to cover the amount of postage provided. They also notify any ham who has cards on file but no envelopes. Please check the Procedures and Dos & Don’ts links for details on proper procedures for using the W5 QSL Bureau.

 $4 Satellite Antenna

Simple, inexpensive and lots of fun!
Here is an easy to make home brew antenna that can get you on the air working satellites or be built for use as a portable hand held antenna to extend the range of your HT.

It’s a dual band 2m/70 cm yagi antenna made with common materials and cost very little to make. Also, the antenna is fed with only one coaxial cable and does not use a duplexer.

Dates To Remember

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

April 1 – Saturday, All Day (perhaps with a preview!)
April 6 – VE Testing at Fire Station #7
April 7-8 – Green Country Hamfest
April 8 – SCARS April Meeting
April 8 – SCARS Spring Picnic – W5IFN QTH

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
Speech Equalization, Compression, and Processing
[Nowadays audio is much more than just “push the button and talk”]

[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:

“Interview with Clark Burgard N1BCG about AM Rally,
ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher,
Pine Board Project continued,
top news of the week,
which solder tip to use,
and questions from the chat room!”

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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