Happy New Year — Menu
The words are easy, Happy New Year, but this year they seem to mean a whole lot more! 2020 will undoubtably go down as the worst year that most of us will experience. That means we can all hold out hope for 2021 as ‘one of the good ones.’
As hams, the new year always brings new opportunities. Typically, HF bands operate in ‘winter mode’, where the maximum useable frequency (MUF) increases and we get to try some of the shorter wavelengths. Band up to, and including the 6-meter band tends to open up in short bursts right after sunrise and sunset. In addition, this time of year, (December/January) our friend, sporadic-E (Es), appears as small gifts when the bands can open quickly in sessions as short as 15 minutes.
And, as we talked about in last week’s newsletter, we’re at a solar minimum and heading up the charts. That means our signals will travel farther and we will be able to use the bands above 20-meters for useful communications. It’s time to start building or rebuilding your antenna systems to be prepared for these exciting changes. For those of us that have been through a number of solar cycles, this is the best part of the hobby. Simple dipole or loop antennas will easily work the world with a 100 watt (or less) radio. For those of you who have just started your radio journey, “it’s fixin’ to get good.”
As the clock strikes 12, SCARS leadership changes one more time. Lea Greenleaf W5HLG gets a break from his year at the helm of this year of reinventing amateur radio clubs! As VP/President-Elect Gayland Kitch said at the December meeting, “we thank Lea and the rest of the SCARS officers for their service.” Changes are minimal, as Hank and Chris will be continuing their roles as treasurer and secretary. Wayne Dutton KK5IO will join the group this year as the Vice President / President-Elect. For more details about the officers and information on this process, visit the SCARS Officers page.
And, 1/1/21 means it’s time to collect club dues for the coming year. Membership and renewal can be processed online using PayPal. Or, membership applications can be printed and mailed to the club’s post office box. Annual membership dues are still only $25.
And, one more annual membership is the ARRL. The ARRL is the only national organization representing Amateur Radio in the United States. Your $49 annually supports this organization and keeps our hobby rolling. In addition, you get a monthly magazine, access to their digital library, and a whole lot more. Join or renew your membership by visiting the ARRL membership page. For those of you under 30, there’s a lifetime option that I’m glad I took advantage of 35 years ago.
So, keep your eyes on the SCARS Events page to see what is on tap throughout the year. As the year rolls on, we should be getting “back to our new normal.” Until then, visit us on-the-air at one of the nets listed on the SCARS meetings page. Or, visit us on Zoom at one of our Tuesday Elmer Nights to ask some questions, answer some questions, or just be entertained. And this would be a great time to study for your next license and join us at our monthly test sessions.
Year End Update — Menu
For some reason, we all tend to look back at the activities of the year as the calendar flips to a new year. Here at SCARS, we do the same. This year we learned how to adapt our in-person meetings to on-the-air and on-the-Zoom/YouTube meetings in a number of different ways. Our McDonald’s meetings used to bring about 15-20 hams together every morning for breakfast were changed to an on-the-air McNet that brings 25-30 hams together on the .06 repeater. While we had been simulcasting our monthly meetings, we learned to manage these as Zoom and YouTube meetings as 50-65 of us would meet on a Saturday morning, and hundreds more watched the meetings ‘after-the-fact’ on YouTube. Our 70CM, 2M, 6M, and 10M nets have stayed busy and connect 100+ on a weekly basis.
We were able to produce a number of videos from the monthly meetings. These are available on the YouTube Presentations playlist, and are detailed here:
- SCARS Field Day 2020 – WX5MOR – Gayland Kitch & N5HZR – Mark Kleine – June
- SDR Receivers – W3JDG – Jorge Duarte – July
- Siren Network – N5UWY – Peter Laws – September
- WinLink Datamode – W5MSL – Matthew Lewis – October
- EMP – KC5MWZ – Gerald Taylor – November
- D-RAT Datamode – AA5KD – Duane Angles & WG5D – Dave Downing – December
Our in-person Elmer Nights have transitioned to Zoom and YouTube events that bring about 30 hams together every Tuesday evening. This online system has allowed us to widen our reach to include ex-members and new friends from across the country. A number of ‘non-hams’ have shown up and received assistance as they start their license tests. We’ve done group circuit analysis, ‘real-life’ radio tests helping members with D-Star, DMR, HF, programming problems, hotspots, QSL info, radio selection, antenna building, weather training, SWLing, and a whole lot more. Past Elmer Nights can be viewed on the SCARS Elmer Nights YouTube playlist.
The Facebook group continues to grow. There are currently 580 hams and potential hams that are involved in that group on a monthly basis. If you have a question, this is the place to come. With members across the globe, questions and answers arrive 24 hours a day. Visit the SCARS Facebook page today.
This weekly newsletter continues to go out to about 1,300 folks via e-mail addresses, Facebook, and Twitter. Through online shares, retweets, and forwards, our reach is easily double that number.
The website usage has quadrupled since this time last year. To help manage this extra load, the Cloudflare content delivery network is used to handle over 1,000,000 monthly requests. This year we will distribute over 1,300,000,000,000 bytes of data to the world. That’s 1.3 Terabytes or 1.3 million-million bytes of data. This year we start using the Asterisk Mobile Pages (AMP) platform that creates a separate version of each page optimized for mobile devices and speeds the delivery to the mobile nation.
All in all, it was another great year in the SCARS world. So glad that you’re all here. So glad you all stay involved. Here’s to a great 2021!
LearnMorse Practice 17 — Menu
On the SCARS web pages, we have developed a series called LearnMorse to help you learn the 40 characters of the International Morse Code in 20 lessons. We’ve gone through all of the 40 characters, and now we start with 20 weeks of practice sessions. Here’s the first lesson of practice 12:
vvv vvv k9z de kk3wwu/4 ^bt rrr and thanks daniel. rig is yaesu zx796 and runs 210 watts to a tribander antenna up 33 feet. weather is sunny and warm and my name is tom. i live in newark, new jersey where your rst is 569. my age is 71 and i am a chemist. how copy? k9z de kk3wwu/4 ^sk vvv vvv n0cy de k8jk/7 ^bt solid copy mickey. i live in spokane, washington where your rst is 568. weather is sunny and cold and my name is mike. my age is 53 and i am a welder. rig is heathkit zy857 and runs 470 watts to a colinear antenna up 61 feet. how copy? n0cy de k8jk/7 ^ar
QRZ037: Boris and Natasha Were Back in Town — Menu
This ongoing series was written by SCARS charter member SK Jack Bickham WB5TZZ / KU5B. Jack was a prolific novelist, his two most known works were turned into the movies “The Apple Dumpling Gang”, and “Bakers Hawk.” These 104 Q. R. Zedd articles were originally published in the Central Oklahoma Radio Amateurs (CORA) Newsletter, the Collector & Emitter from September 1981 through April 1990, and are hosted on the SCARS web site. We are reprinting this series to provide you with a glimpse of the past.
Originally published in the October 1984 C&E.
It was a surprise visit.
What happened, largely unreported by the daily news media, was that Boris Badenov, Russian DX ace, and his secretary from Box 88, Natasha Bullwinkle, came to Oklahoma recently along with a Soviet trade. delegation wanting to see if they could trade us three or four defective Bulgarian tractors for a couple of hundred million metric tons of wheat.
Well, naturally the governor and the legislature turned out, along with the Chamber of Commerce and the local Mickey Mouse Club, and this fellow named Yuri Unpronounceable talked about brotherhood and freedom and other things he had just looked up in his Thesaurus, and on the following day the delegation went down to Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma, so they could see how you study energy for the oil companies with a hole in the ground.
One of OU’s more famous offices gave Badenov a literary prize for his logbooks, and Natasha was voted the favorite pinup girl by five or six major fraternities.
Then Boris Badenov and Natasha got a ride on the Soonerville Trolley all the way down to Honor Role Ranch, home of the world’s greatest DXer, Q. R. Zedd, A5A. We got to ride along, sharing seat space with the AP, UPI, Ham Radio and Pravda.
Zedd, given only a few minutes’ warning, met Badenov and Natasha on the verandah, wearing his PROP. OF OU ATHLETIC DEPT. tee shirt, red britches, cream-colored boots, and bronze belt buckle loaded up for 40 meters. His nubile, blond, 20-year-old QSL secretary, Tondelayo Schwartz, was right at his side. She was wearing a short pink dress and five-inch spikes, with her various bronzed DX awards around her next like a squashblossom necklace.
Up clomps Badenov, in his baggy brown Red Army uniform and fat brown boots, his 14 rows of DX medals shining in the sun, and along slinks Natasha, wearing a skintight black jump suit with a hammer and sickle on it just where you would least expect. Her long black hair and slanty green-gray eyes with all the makeup around them provided quite a contrast with Tondelayo’s wholesome American Max Factor look, everyone in the press corps agreed.
Zedd stuck out his hand to Badenov. “Welcome, pardner. It’s always great to meet one of the Rooshian boys again.”
“Is signal pleasure,” Badenov growled, “once again shaking hands with number two DXer of world, Q. R. Zedd.” Zedd blinked but smiled. “Did you say number two, boy? The last time anybody called me that was when it was the number I wore in the Olympics that year I won six gold medals.”
“Everyone know,” Natasha hissed, “my Boris is number one!” She stroked his arm and glared at Tondelayo.
“Number one,” Tondelayo cooed, “in drinking Coors and eating Twinkies.”
“You watch out, little capitalist oink, or I will stick you with my knife!”
“Is peace mission,” Badenov whispered to his secretary. “Try be cool, da? Remember, Natasha, we got to be nice, get that wheat back to Mother Russia.”
“Speaking of cool,” Zedd put in, “we have a few cases of Colorado KoolAid on ice inside. You want to –” He got no farther, alas, because Badenov had already rushed by him, church key coming out in midstride.
Inside, with empty cans and Twinkle wrappers piling up like snow in an Aspen Blizzard, Badenov started bragging about some of his recent exploits. Natasha, meanwhile, was honing her dagger on a whetstone taken from her purse, and shooting a few verbal darts at the darling Tondelayo.
“Is pregnant, darling?. Natasha asked. “Or is only putting on more weight?”
“I weigh the same,” Tondelayo replied sweetly. “Honestly, honey, I guess you just got mixed if on account of you have to look at your own self in the mirror all the time.”
“Is in perfect condition for Soviet womanhood, is my body!” Natasha sprang to her feet, put taloned hands on her slender hips, and posed. “See?”
“You poor little thang,” Tondelayo murmured. “Can’t you get breast augmentation surgery while you’re over here? Ain’t it a nuisance, your tee shirts falling right down to your waist when you put ’em on over your head?”
“Watch out!” Natasha hissed, “or I stick you with my knife yet!”
“My goodness, what are you mad about? There are probably all sorts of advantages to havin’ a build like yours. I mean, you don’t have to walk around in front of the mirror to look at yourself, you can just look in the edge –“
“Capitalist cow, exposing flesh like brazen harlot! You are no better than this big fake, Zedd! All bluster, no luster. All flash, no cash! All brag, no swag! Ha!”
“Now, Natasha, honey,” Tondelayo said, her voice changing subtly, “it’s all fine and good for you to insult me. I mean, you’re a peasant and we all got to make allowances. But I don’t take kindly to anybody badmouthing the greatest, finest, truest DXer who ever lived, Mr. Q. R. Zedd. If you get my drift.”
“Girls,” Zedd himself cut in calmly, raising his voice just enough to stop the scuffling, “let’s not have any ruckus here, okay? Anyway, while you and Natasha have been fussing, Tondelayo, honey, ole Boris and me have been talking about how we might settle this question of who’s the best Dxer, between him and me, once and for all. Do you want to hear about it?” (To be continued.)
Dates to Remember — Menu
- SCARS Elmer Nights – ONLINE ONLY. Every Tuesday evening, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Join with Zoom at https://w5nor.org/zoom/ or simply watch the fun at https://w5nor.org/stream/ All meetings are recorded so you can stream them later from the SCARS YouTube channel.
- SCARS Meeting January 9, 2021, 9:30 am – Join with Zoom at https://w5nor.org/zoom/ or simply watch the fun at https://w5nor.org/stream/ All meetings are recorded so you can stream them later from the SCARS YouTube channel.
- SCARS January 7, 2021, License Test – 6:30 pm – Norman Firehouse #7 – 2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069
Newsletter News — Menu
This newsletter is announced in several places. Feel free to subscribe to the way that suits you best. If you’re an email person, you can subscribe by visiting https://w5nor.org/email. If you’re a Twitter person, visit us at https://w5nor.org/twitter. And each newsletter announcement is posted on the Facebook group at https://w5nor.org/facebook. And, if you like to search this yourself, you can go straight to the newsletter at https://w5nor.org/newsletter. Any way you found the newsletter, we’re glad you made it.
And, this newsletter should be for, and about, you. If you have a neat build project to share, an interesting QSO, a new radio review, a new idea, an upcoming event, a member spotlight, or if you’d like to help produce the newsletter, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. These don’t have to be polished articles; we’ll edit as required. Don’t forget a picture or two. That picture is worth a thousand words.
Local Hamfests — Menu
Briefly, here’s the list of the upcoming local hamfests. Hamfests are always great places to buy new equipment, sell your underused equipment, and find that great flea market bargain. They are always a great place to meet local hams and learn some new tricks.
1/23/2021 | Pryor Tailgate Event | Location: Pryor, OK
3/6/2021 | Elk City Hamfest | Location: Elk City, OK
4/2/2021 | Ozark Con – 4 States QRP | Location: Branson, MO
4/9-10/2021| Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK
5/21-23/2021 | Dayton Hamvention | Location: Xenia, OH
6/17-19/2021 | Ham-Com | Location: Plano, TX
7/23-24/2021 | Ham Holiday | Location: OCCC – Oklahoma City, OK
9/10-11/2021 | Arkansas State Convention | Location: Mena, AR
9/24/2021 | Reno County KS Hamfest | Location: Hutchinson, KS
10/22-23/2021 | Texoma Hamarama Hamfest | Location: Ardmore, OK
11/6/2021 | Enid Hamfest | Location: Enid, OK (or maybe December)
8/27-28/2021 | Joplin Hamfest | Location: Joplin, MO
10/02/2021 | Wichita Area Hamfest | Location: Wichita, KS
The ARRL maintains a list of all US hamfests if you would like to travel. Click here for the ARRL list of those within 250 miles.
Odds and Ends — Menu
- All those links
- ARES Memory Settings (Red Box at the bottom of the page)
- Collector and Emitter Archive
- YLRL Nets and other info
- Real-time Solar Weather
- SCARS Officers
- HF Net List
- Norman VHF Repeaters audio stream
- ARRL Outgoing QSL Service
- Announced DX Operations
- D-Star stuff
- Real-time lightning data
- Oklahoma ARES Voice Over IP Net
SCARS Is On The Web — Menu
- Homepage: W5NOR.ORG
- Hamvention Club of the Year: W5NOR.org/hvclub
- News and Updates: SCARS Newsletter
- Repeater Resources: SCARS Repeater
- Oklahoma DMR Resources: OKDMR
- Facebook: SCARS Facebook
- Twitter: W5NOR
- Email: email@example.com
News, links, repeater info, hamfests, licensing, and more are linked from the menu sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG!
Podcast: On The Air — Menu
The On the Air podcast is a companion to the bi-monthly On the Air magazine (an ARRL membership benefit) and takes a deeper dive into select features and projects. Each month, host and On the Air Editorial Director Becky Schoenfeld W1BXY will offer additional resources, techniques, and hints to help you get the most from the magazine’s content.
A chat with Mike Corey, KI1U, about storm spotting and SKYWARN.
ARRL On the Air – Episode 12
ARRL Letter — Menu
- SKYWARN Recognition Day 2020 Deemed A Success
- SSTV Event to Help ARISS Mark 20 Years of Continuous Ham Radio Operation in Space
- ARRL Podcasts Schedule
- Oregon ARRL VEC Testing Group Offers Testing from the Comfort of Your Car
- The ARRL RTTY Roundup is January 2 – 3
- SAQ Alexanderson Alternator Christmas Eve Transmission Cancelled
- ARRL Learning Network Webinars
- Reverse Beacon Network Leveraging Yasme Foundation Grant for Expansion
- The K7RA Solar Update
- In Brief…
- Just Ahead in Radiosport
- Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
ARRL DX Bulletin — Menu
SB DX @ ARL $ARLD051 ARLD051 DX news ZCZC AE51 QST de W1AW DX Bulletin 51 ARLD051 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT December 18, 2020 To all radio amateurs SB DX ARL ARLD051 ARLD051 DX news This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all. SRI LANKA, 4S. Members of the Radio Society of Sri Lanka, formerly known as the Radio Society of Ceylon, celebrates its 70th anniversary with stations adding /70 to their call signs. QSL via operators' instructions. CYPRUS, 5B. Alex, 5B4ALX is QRV as C4XMAS during the month of December. QSL via IZ4AMS. SPAIN, EA. Special event station AO50UPC is QRV until December 30 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. QSL direct. SAUDI ARABIA, HZ. Members of the Saudi Amateur Radio Society are QRV with special event station HZ18SAT until December 27 to commemorate the start of the Saudi satellite 1C SO-50 18 years ago. QSL via operators' instructions. OGASAWARA, JD1. Harry, JG7PSJ is QRV as JD1BMH from Chichijima, IOTA AS-031, and plans to be here until January 9, 2021 unless plans change. Activity is on 40 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to home call. ALASKA, KL7. Jim, KL7KK is QRV from Bethel and is generally active on 80 meters using SSB around 1500 to 1600z and then from 1700 to 1900z, daily. QSL to home call. NETHERLANDS, PA. Special event station PH20XMAS is QRV until January 3, 2021. Special event station PH21HNY is QRV until January 31, 2021. QSL both calls via bureau. SLOVENIA, S5. Members of the Radio Club Elektron Brezice are QRV with special event station S520SAFE until January 31, 2021 to support the STAY SAFE campaign and to express their gratitude to medical staff and care workers. QSL direct to S56IPS. POLAND, SP. Members of team SP2PBM are QRV with special event callsign HF2021HNY until January 10, 2021. QSL via SP2PBM. GREECE, SV. Nine multi operator special event stations, SX1A, SX2A, SX3A, SX4A, SX5A from Dodecanese, SX6A, SX7A, SX8A, and SX9A from Crete, are QRV in the countdown towards celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Hellenic War of Independence in 1821. QSL via operators' instructions. SOUTH SUDAN, Z8. Diya, YI1DZ is QRV as Z81D from Juba. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters, and possibly 160 meters, using SSB and FT8. QSL via OM3JW. THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The ARRL CW Rookie Roundup, Feld Hell Sprint, OK DX RTTY Contest, RAC Winter Contest, Padang DX Contest and Croatian CW Contest are all on tap for this weekend. The OK1WC Memorial, Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest and K1USN Slow Speed Test are scheduled for December 21. The RTTYOPS Weeksprint and Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest are scheduled for December 22. The CWops Mini-CWT Test, SKCC CW Sprint and Phone Fray are scheduled for December 23. The RTTYOPS Weeksprint is scheduled for December 24. Please see December QST, page 63, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details. NNNN /EX
The latest ARRL DX Bulletin is always at the top here — ARRL DX Bulletin
Amateur Radio Newsline — Menu
– FCC HOLDS LANDLORDS ACCOUNTABLE FOR RADIO PIRATES
– TEXAS’ HAM-COM CALLING IT QUITS
– IN AUSTRALIA, SPORADIC-E GOES THE DISTANCE
– EXTENSIONS GRANTED FOR GERMAN RADIO OPERATORS
– AUSTRIAN HAMS GAIN ACCESS TO 60 AND 630 METRE BANDS
– WHEN MORSE CODE GROWS ON TREES
– SOMETIMES SATELLITES GROW ON TREES TOO
– EUROPE PREPS FOR SATELLITE CONSTELLATION
– CHINA’S RADIOTELESCOPE WELCOMES THE WORLD
– RADIO EQUIPMENT STOLEN FROM RUSSIAN ‘DOOMSDAY’ PLANE
– WORLD OF DX
– KICKER: IN AUSTRALIA, THE ULTIMATE DX?
The Amateur Radio Newsline can be found at ARNewsline.org.
73 de Mark N5HZR