OSCARC Newsletter for March 2011
The regular monthly meeting was called to order at 1938EST on Mar/01/2011.
Members Present: Jeff VE3PRX (secretary), John VA3JE (chairman), Alex VA3XLO, Ward VE3WGK, Jean VE3WAD, David VE3RER, Neil VE3NGS (president), Jay VE3EMP, Tim VE3IXN, Dave VA3ETE, Ian VE3IJS, Peter VE3EYI, Bill VA3PPC. Regrets: nil
Visitor: Bill Hobbs VE3RYE. Bill’s parents were both Hams. His father was licensed around WWII. He and his brother became hams later in life, and have recently gotten back into the hobby after a lengthy hiatus. Bill found about the club by a following a link to our website from the RAC website.
The Minutes of last meeting were presented by the Secretary. There were no errors or omissions. A Motion to accept minutes was made by Neil NGS, seconded by Jay EMP. Carried.
Business arising from the Minutes:
-Jay EMP presented a draft logo design. There was a discussion about colours, scalability and how it could be used, e.g. t-shirts, badges and other things. It was decided to distribute it to the membership by email and solicit feedback. (It is also available in the Members Area of the website – contact Neil NGS if you do not have the password for the Members Area.)
- Jay will also work with John JE regarding the loan of his TK790 to the shack. The plan is to pre-program several of the common repeater frequencies into the unit to aid users.
-There was further discussion on the proposal to have large screen displays installed outside the shack. Neil NGS has left a message with the OSC about it and is awaiting a reply.
-Ori XW is still attempting to get the administrator password to the VE3OSC listing at QRZ.com. Neil NGS offered to help.
-Ward WGK brought to our attention a piece of proposed legislation in the USA which could see the loss of part, or all, of our 70cm band. He indicated that several ham agencies (ARRL, RAC) are closely monitoring the progress of the proposal. He also said that we should stay vigilant against the continuing attacks on our very valuable frequency allocations. Jay EMP said that several other groups such as the military and astronomers are strongly opposed to certain aspects of the Bill because it impacts on their frequency allocations.
-Ward also reiterated need for a new(er) computer for the shack satellite position. Several suggestions were examined but no decision was made. It was mentioned that some software and hardware maintenance or reinstalling the o/s on the current computer might increase the processing speed. Jay EMP will ask around to see if he can locate an old (but superior) machine.
-Neil said that an Events section has been added to the website.
-He also updated the group on the Hammond Museum tour which has been booked for Apr 30th (Saturday). The plan is to leave Toronto around noon and return around 1800. The museum is suggesting that they can only handle a group of 14 on weekends and that number of members has already signed up. Contact Neil if you wish to be placed on the waiting list. Details regarding transportation and lunch are still being worked out.
-Neil passed on a request from RAC who are seeking information which models of plasma TVs generate or do not generate RFI. See the link on the website for more detail. Or check Bulletin 2011-004 E at www.RAC.ca
Secretary’s Report: – Nothing earth shattering has occurred since last meeting
Treasury Report: – Not Available
-Ward WGK is meeting with Doug Joice to discuss antenna maintenance issues. OSC is aware of the scope of work, and we are waiting for good weather so the project can proceed.
-He also mentioned that ground-based polarity switching of the satellite beam needs to be tested. In theory it’s set up, but doesn’t appear to work.
-David RER made over 100 contacts in the 160m CQ/phone contest.
-Jean WAD said she had an interesting QSO with member stations of the International Police Association on their net. She also said that she scared a ham listening in Texas with VE3OSC’s booming signal.
-John JE had a CW QSO with Maine on 40m, even with his very high local QRM, using his ICOM 706 outputting 2 watts! to a piece of wet string. (No doubt in bare feet, uphill both ways. /p)
-Neil NGS heard lots of old Heathkits in the Classic Exchange boat anchor contest but said that of those he talked to he probably had the oldest rig (Collins KWM-2).
Floobie Dust and interesting URLs:
-So, you think you’re too old to get your Ham licence? Spare a thought for Ethyl Williamson VE3DTW who passed away in October 2010 at 104! Then think again. /EYI
-Casmir Effect Amazing, futuristic stuff. /JE
-Clever use of positioning satellite signals. Potential for accurate, low-cost tsunami detection. /JE
-Hours of fun here Wikimapia /EYI
-If you come across an interesting URL please forward to Peter VE3EYI for inclusion in a future Newsletter.
TBA = Talk by our local RAC representative.
TBA = Aron VA3UMA on his portable military HF rig.
TBA = Neil VE3NGS reminiscences of the original VE3OSC
TBA = Ian VE3IJS on Echolink
TBA = John Hansen on EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility)
TBA = Warren VE3YHH on building a software defined radio
TBA = Jeff VE3PRX on how his company produces and delivers content to many different users of digital signage.
Contact John VA3JE if you can do a presentation at any future meeting.
Door Prize draw
-Goodies this month were donated by Neil NGS, Jay EMP and Radioworld. By random draw Dave ETE won a Yaesu hat, Alex XLO a call area wall map, Ward WGK a presentation grade ICOM logbook and John JE a 2005/6 repeater directory.
-If you have any old/new treasures, which are looking for a good/different home and aching to be a door prize, contact Neil NGS.
Break: called at 20:34. Thanks, as always, to Jean WAD for supplying the coffee and munchies.
Neil NGS gave a most excellent presentation entitled “Radio Operations aboard the Sea Shepherd 2 on its 1981 Siberian Campaign in defence of the Grey Whale”. It turns out that our current President spoke from personal experience having been radio operator, navigator, first mate and latterly captain of the aforementioned ship.
In January 1981 Neil, then VE4DQ, joined Paul Watson, one of the founders of Greenpeace, and the rest of the crew of the Sea Shepard 2 in Greenock, Scotland. The ship, which was built as a fishing trawler in 1962, had been sitting idle at a dock since 1978 and required many man-hours of effort to make it seaworthy. After provisioning it set out on the first leg of the journey to the Bering Strait by way of Washington DC, the Panama canal, Los Angles, Vancouver and Nome, Alaska. In Los Angeles Neil purchased a Yaesu FT-101ZD and erected inverted V antennas for 20 and 40 meters from the aft mast to supplement the on-board commercial equipment.
In many of the ports they visited they were given a less than enthusiastic welcome and had to overcome sabotage and serious governmental harassment. As part of his duties Neil set up skeds with many helpful hams who were able to pass on information to the media and make phone patches.
The aim of the mission was to expose serious environmental infractions by the Soviet fishing industry who were decimating the grey whale population in order to provide meat to state-run fur farms in Lorino, Siberia and other locations. The Sea Shepherd 2 crossed the International Dateline several times entering Soviet waters and, while they were unsuccessful in finding the whaling vessel, managed to set people ashore to photographically document the abuses. They also took excellent pictures of the armed icebreaker and helicopter which intercepted and shadowed them until they returned to US territory.
After the Siberian campaign Neil returned the ship via Seattle to Los Angeles where he installed an additional FT-101ZD and a Dentron linear amplifier. After Neil departed the Sea Shepherd 2 it went on several more missions until 1992 when it was sold in Uclulet, BC after succumbing to significant damage inflicted by the Canadian Coast Guard. The ship was finally broken up for scrap in Nanaimo in 2004.
For more information check out the following links http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/master-and-commander.html & http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/our-history.html or invite Neil out for a beer. The current Sea Shepherd fleet and crews are featured in the Animal Planet TV series “Whale Wars”.
After the Presenter was thanked a Motion to adjourn was made by Jeff PRX, seconded by Dave ETE. Carried at 2203EST
The OSCARC meets at 1930 local on the first Tuesday of the month, unless it is a holiday, in which case the second Tuesday. Check in with Security from the lower parking lot down the hill on the south end of the building. Keep an ear on VE3TWR 145.410/r on the drive in. Visitors are welcome.