OMIK Tech-Talk. January 2017

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1 An International Educational and Scientific Organization Founded in August of 1952 OMIK Tech-Talk is a monthly distribution of news and technical articles reviewed and chosen by our technical staff to provide you with timely ham radio-related topics collected from different sources on the Internet. KØMIK OMIK Amateur Radio Association Net Schedule (NOTE: during Daylight Savings Time net times move back 1 hour) OMIK is now using Dstar reflector REF074C on Sunday mornings to assist the net controllers with check-ins. If you can t hear the net because of band conditions and you have the resources to communicate on Dstar try checking in on REF074C. You can view the reflector dashboard by typing the link below in your web browser. If you need assistance reaching the reflector contact Frank The Western Amateur Radio Association (W.A.R.F.A.) is now has net check-in and rag chew on Xreflector 398 on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00 UTC. You can view the reflector dashboard by typing the link below in your web browser. If you need assistance reaching the reflector contact Frank 20 Meter Phone 40 Meter Phone 75 Meter Phone OMIK Nets meet on Sundays MHz from 16:00-18:00 UTC MHz from 12:30 to 14:00 UTC MHz from 12:00-13:00 UTC FCC Dismisses Two Petitions from Radio Amateurs 01/05/2017 Source: ARRL The FCC has turned down two petitions filed in 2016, each seeking similar changes in the Part 97 Amateur Service rules. James Edwin Whedbee, N0ECN, of Gladstone,

2 Missouri, had asked the Commission to amend the rules to reduce the number of Amateur Radio operator classes to Technician, General, and Amateur Extra by merging remaining Novice class licensees into the Technician class and all Advanced class licensees into the Amateur Extra class. In a somewhat related petition, Jeffrey H. Siegell, WB2YRL, of Burke, Virginia, had requested that the FCC grant Advanced class license holders Morse code operating privileges equivalent to those enjoyed by Amateur Extra class licensees. Thus, Mr. Siegell s proposed rule change is subsumed within the changes Mr. Whedbee requests, so our analysis is the same for both proposals, the FCC said in dismissing the two petitions on January 5. The FCC streamlined the Amateur Radio licensing system into three classes Technician, General, and Amateur Extra in While it no longer issues new Novice or Advanced class licenses, existing licenses can be renewed, and Novice and Advanced licensees retained their operating privileges. The Commission concluded that the threeclass structure would streamline the licensing process, while still providing an incentive for licensees to advance their communication and technical skills, the FCC recounted in its dismissal letter to Whedbee and Siegell. It specifically rejected suggestions that Novice and Advanced class licensees be automatically upgraded to a higher class, concluding that it would be inappropriate for these licensees to receive additional privileges without passing the required examination elements. The FCC cited the same reason in 2005, when it denied requests to automatically upgrade Technician licensees to General class and Advanced licensees to Amateur Extra class, as part of a wide-ranging proceeding. The FCC said the two petitions do not demonstrate, or even suggest, that any relevant circumstances have changed that would merit reconsideration of those decisions. Whedbee had argued that automatically upgrading current Novice and Advanced classes would simplify the rules and reduce the Commission s costs and administrative burden, but the FCC said Whedbee provided no evidence that an administrative problem exists. Moreover, such benefits would not outweigh the public interest in ensuring that amateur operators have the requisite incentive to advance their skill and technical knowledge in order to contribute to the advancement of the radio art and improvement of the Amateur Radio Service, the FCC said. The Commission has already concluded that it will not automatically grant additional privileges to the discontinued license classes, the FCC said. Consequently, we conclude that the above-referenced petitions for rulemaking do not warrant further consideration at this time.

3 FCC Denies Expert Linears' Request for Waiver of 15 db Rule, Petition Pending: Source: The ARRL Letter The FCC has denied a request by Expert Linears America LLC to waive (a)(2) of the Amateur Service rules limiting amplifier gain. Expert, of Magnolia, Texas, distributes linears manufactured by SPE in Italy. Its waiver request, filed in June, would have allowed Expert to import an amplifier capable of exceeding the current 15 db gain limitation as it awaits FCC action on its April petition (RM ) to revise the same Amateur Service rules. That petition remains pending. Expert has asserted that there should be no gain limitation on amplifiers sold or used in the Amateur Service. Most commenters supported Expert's waiver request, but a couple of commenters -- including FlexRadio, which supports a rule change -- expressed concerns about granting a waiver to Expert alone. "In light of the conflicting comments regarding the desirability of eliminating the 15 db limitation, we conclude that waiving the limitation at this stage of the rulemaking proceeding would prejudice the rulemaking proceeding and prematurely dispose of commenters' concerns," the FCC said in denying the waiver. "Moreover, we agree with FlexRadio that granting Expert's waiver request while the rulemaking petition remains pending would provide an unfair market advantage for one equipment model over other manufacturers' RF power amplifiers that would still be limited by [the existing rules]." The FCC said it would rather give full consideration to "the pending issues" and apply the result of the rulemaking proceeding to all Amateur Radio Service equipment. The Commission said rule waivers "generally" are not warranted "merely to accommodate technical parameters that are based solely on harmonization with the manufacturer's products available abroad." In its April rulemaking petition, Expert maintained that the 15 db gain limitation is an unneeded holdover from the days when amplifiers were less efficient and the FCC was attempting to rein in the use of Amateur Service amplifiers by Citizens Band operators. Although the FCC had proposed in 2004 to delete the requirement that amplifiers be designed to use a minimum of 50 W of drive power -- and subsequently did so -- it did not further discuss the 15 db limit in the subsequent Report and Order https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmat ch/fcc a1.pdf in that proceeding. Read more denies-expert-linears-request-for-waiver-of- 15-db-rule-petition-pending.

4 ARRL Education & Technology Program Offers Grants to Four Schools: Source: The ARRL Letter January 5, 2017 The ARRL Board of Directors' Executive Committee has approved Education and Technology Program (ETP grants to schools in Illinois, California, Ohio, and Connecticut. The funds will help three of the schools to establish Amateur Radio club stations by providing the necessary equipment, and aid one school in getting its radio club off the ground. Zeigler-Royalton High School in rural Zeigler, Illinois; Sato Academy in Long Beach, California, and Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center in Chillicothe, Ohio, will receive station grants, while E.O. Smith High School in Mansfield, Connecticut, will receive a progress grant, enabling it to build upon the school's burgeoning Amateur Radio program. Sponsors for all four grants are alumni of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology who are implementing Amateur Radio as part of their school's curriculum. Teacher Miroslaw Klapyk, KC1GBT, at E.O. Smith High School, took his initial Amateur Radio license test during a Teachers Institute session this past summer, and promptly upgraded to Amateur Extra. Klapyk teaches physics to more than 50 students, and he plans to spend a week or two toward the end of the school year focusing on wireless communication, with an eye toward getting more students interested in the radio club. But, he told ARRL, that interest is already there. "I never advertised our club," he said. "Yet since the start of the school year, we went from one to eight members. They just keep coming." The school currently has some Amateur Radio station gear and the beginnings of an antenna system. The Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center in Chillicothe, Ohio, requested Amateur Radio station equipment to augment the school's engineering program and to attract other interested students to wireless and related technology. "The establishment of an Amateur Radio station would give impetus for students to become radio amateurs," with a view toward getting them involved in public service communication, teacher David Pentecost, KC8WEB, said in the school's application. Pickaway-Ross, he said, is "committed to helping underserved students in the Appalachian region of southern Ohio achieve success in a variety of technical fields."

5 The Sato Academy Amateur Radio Emergency Communication team's project in part focuses on establishing a demonstration station to train youngsters in using Amateur Radio for emergency communication. The school, which received a station grant, also wants "to help students learn to build and create circuit boards, such as those used in the Teachers Institute," teacher Devon Day, KF6KEE, said in her school's application. At Zeigler-Royalton, teacher Lance Newman, KD9GOY, said he's hoping to see more students become interested, pass their license exams, and spend time on the radio and working with the equipment. Newman said in the school's application that he began the process of establishing a ham radio station at the school this fall, "to provide an extracurricular outlet for students interested in radio communication technologies." But he's hoping that Amateur Radio will offer other educational opportunities as well. New Amateur Radio FM Transponder CubeSat Now in Space: Source: W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 30, 2016 ZCZC AS12 QST de W1AW Space Bulletin 012 ARLS012 >From ARRL Headquarters Newington, CT December 30, 2016 To all radio amateurs SB SPACE ARL ARLS012 ARLS012 New Amateur Radio FM Transponder CubeSat Now in Space The BY70-1 CubeSat launched on December 28 from the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in China, but in a lower orbit than intended. The satellite carries an Amateur Radio FM transponder. BY70-1 was intended to go into a 530- kilometer (approximately 329-mile) circular Sun-synchronous orbit, but it appears the orbit is 524 x 212 kilometers, which will give the spacecraft an orbital lifetime of just a month or two. Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, reported working Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA, through the FM transponder during the 1709 UTC pass on December 28. "Uplink requires precise frequency adjustment, and there's a delay on the downlink, but the signal is strong," Stoetzer said. BY70-1 is a 2U CubeSat project for education and Amateur Radio. It features 3- axis stabilization and deployable solar panels. In addition to the FM transponder, BY70-1 has a camera, and plans call for downloading images and telemetry via a 9600 bps BPSK downlink. The IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination pages list an uplink of MHz, and a downlink of MHz. AMSAT-UK has more information online at, https://amsat-uk.org/2016/12/27/by70-1- fm-transponder-satellite/.

6 Federal Communications Commission and are selected from the same sub-elements that would be used for an official license examination. Classes & VEC Testing None scheduled Ham Radio License Exam Practice The ARRL has a online resource that allows users to take randomly generated practice exams using questions from the actual examination question pool. ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio is free, and users do not need to be ARRL members. The only requirement is that users must first set up a site login (this is a different and separate login from your ARRL website user registration). Find and Exam in Your Area: You can find an Amateur License Exam In your area at ARRL.ORG You can find an Amateur License Exam In your area at ARRL.ORG Free Amateur Radio Practice Testing is available on the Web Practice exams are for those people who would like to study for a new US amateur radio license class. The questions contained within are provided by the

7 Electronics Refresher Thyristor Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/thyristor A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating N and P-type materials. It acts exclusively as a bistable switch, conducting when the gate receives a current trigger, and continuing to conduct while the voltage across the device is not reversed (forward-biased). A threelead thyristor is designed to control the larger current of its two leads by combining that current with the smaller current of its other lead, known as its control lead. In contrast, a two-lead thyristor is designed to switch on if the potential difference between its leads is sufficiently large (breakdown voltage). Some sources define silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) and thyristor as synonymous. [1] Other sources define thyristors as a larger set of devices with at least four layers of alternating N and P-type material. The first thyristor devices were released commercially in Because thyristors can control a relatively large amount of power and voltage with a small device, they find wide application in control of electric power, ranging from light dimmers and electric motor speed control to high-voltage direct current power transmission. Thyristors may be used in power-switching circuits, relay-replacement circuits, inverter circuits, oscillator circuits, level-detector circuits, chopper circuits, light-dimming circuits, low-cost timer circuits, logic circuits, speed-control circuits, phasecontrol circuits, etc. Originally, thyristors relied only on current reversal to turn them off, making them difficult to apply for direct current; newer device types can be turned on and off through the control gate signal. The latter is known as a gate turn-off thyristor, or GTO thyristor. A thyristor is not a proportional device like a transistor. In other words, a thyristor can only be fully on or off, while a transistor can lie in between on and off states. This makes a thyristor unsuitable as an analog amplifier, but useful as a switch.

8 Safety Safety Tip OMIK Tech-Talk Electrical ignition hazard Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/electrical_equ ipment_in_hazardous_areas A household light switch may emit a small, harmless visible spark when switching. In an ordinary atmosphere this arc is of no concern, but if a flammable vapor is present, the arc might start an explosion. Electrical equipment intended for use in a chemical factory or refinery is designed either to contain any explosion within the device, or is designed not to produce sparks with sufficient energy to trigger an explosion. Many strategies exist for safety in electrical installations. The simplest strategy is to minimize the amount of electrical equipment installed in a hazardous area, either by keeping the equipment out of the area altogether or by making the area less hazardous by process improvements or ventilation with clean air. Intrinsic safety, or non-incendive equipment and wiring methods, is a set of practices for apparatus designed with low power levels and low stored energy. Insufficient energy is available to produce an arc that can ignite the surrounding explosive mixture. Equipment enclosures can be pressurized with clean air or inert gas and designed with various controls to remove power or provide notification in case of supply or pressure loss of such gases. Arc-producing elements of the equipment can also be isolated from the surrounding atmosphere by encapsulation, immersion in oil, sand, etc. Heat producing elements such as motor winding, electrical heaters, including heat tracing and lighting fixtures are often designed to limit their maximum temperature below the autoignition temperature of the material involved. Both external and internal temperatures are taken into consideration. As in most fields of electrical installation, different countries have approached the standardization and testing of equipment for hazardous areas in different ways. As world trade becomes more important in distribution of electrical products, international standards are slowly converging so that a wider range of acceptable techniques can be approved by national regulatory agencies. Area classification is required by governmental bodies, for example by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and compliance is enforced. Documentation requirements are varied. Often an area classification plan-view is provided to identify equipment ratings and installation techniques to be used for each classified plant area. The plan may contain the list of chemicals with their group and temperature rating, and elevation details shaded to indicate Class, Division(Zone) and group combination. The area

9 classification process would require the participation of operations, maintenance, safety, electrical and instrumentation professionals, the use of process diagrams and material flows, MSDS and any pertinent documents, information and knowledge to determine the hazards and their extent and the countermeasures to be employed. Area classification documentations are reviewed and updated to reflect process changes. Radio and Software Tech Talk New Technologies Icom IC-7300 Instead of the conventional superheterodyne system, a direct RF sampling approach is used. The brilliant TFT touch screen provides complete operational status including a stunning real-time spectrum display with waterfall plus a useful audio scope display. There is a built-in tuner. Other features include: Voice memory, 15 Band Pass Filters, CW/RTTY memory keyer functions, RTTY decode, SD card slot, USB for CI-V and audio I/O, digital noise reduction and 101 memories. Only 9.45 x 3.75 x 9.37 inches (240x95x238mm). Yaesu FT-991A The Icom IC-7300 saw its debut at the Tokyo Hamfair August 2015 and was the star of the Dayton Hamvention May This new HF plus 6 meter 100 watt transceiver hosts new capabilities and technologies for its class. Receive coverage is 30 khz to 74.8 MHz. Transmit is: , , *, 7 7.3, , , , , , and MHz. The Yaesu FT-991A provides sophisticated operation on 160 to 6 meters plus coverage of 2 meters and 70 cm! The 60 meter band is supported. Here is a compact, lightweight package suitable for portable, mobile and base installations. The built-in antenna tuner (for 160-6m) uses a LC switching network that features a 100 channel memory to reduce tuning time when changing frequency. The FT-991A comes standard

10 with a ± 0.5 PPM high resolution DDS/PLL local oscillator to provide stability for demanding digital modes. Measuring 8.8"W x 3"H x 9.9"L at just 9.7 pounds this robust full featured mobile/portable radio is ready to go when and where you are! The menu mode allows you to tailor the operation of the radio to your preferences. Two important enhancements over the original FT-991 have been added to this next-generation FT-991A version: Dynamic real-time spectrum scope Multi-color waterfall display The rear panel has two antenna inputs: HF/50 and 144/430. The FT-991A is supplied with the MH-31A8J hand mic, DC cord, 25 Amp spare fuse and manual. This model carries a Yaesu three year limited manufacturer's warranty. Software NetLogger Source: NetLogger is a logging program that can use the internet to transmit check-in information to other users of NetLogger. Net participants that are 'monitoring' the net with NetLogger receive updated information every twenty seconds. if you use a callbook program like QRZ!, HamCall, Sam Database, or Radio Amateur Callbook, information like name, city and state can be filled-in for you automatically. There is also a "Club Profile" feature that enables you to store and automatically display station information not found in a callbook database, like OMISS number, number, VIP status, etc. Other features of NetLogger include support for importing/exporting data in ADIF and CSV format, a built in contact database that supports complex searching, automatic entry of UTC, date and time when logging contacts, viewing of upcoming net schedules on-line, ability to post your own net schedule, ability to send a list of checkins to an reflector, ability to print QSL labels, mailing labels and contacts, plus many other features. For Sale or SWAP This space is reserved for anything amateur related you want to sale, swap trade, buy or get rid of. Send your list to Items are listed for one month. Additional time can be requested by . NetLogger also has features designed to make logging check-ins easier. For instance,

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