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April 2015


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DELARA News is published on the web as the monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association in Delaware, Ohio. 
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delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 34  NUMBER 4

Field Day Rules Modification

(April 1)- Rules for the 2015 Field Day event have been recently changed. Speaking from the ARRL Nag’s Head Resort, President Kay Craigie, N3KN, told several representatives of the Ham Radio hobby that this year’s scoring for the annual Field Day event has been changed. Citing budget cuts and an overwhelming inclination for the larger teams to, as she described, “Cut corners” to improve their operation the League President unveiled changes to the scoring requirements that should make all participants happy.  Budget considerations were primarily based on the increased manpower required to confirm the submitted scores from increasingly larger Field Day groups. As one contest scorer put it, “In order to be first in their category, they simply invented another category.”  The scorer held out an example of a 29A station.  “Who’s to say we won’t have a 34A submission this year?” he asked. The amount of manpower required to confirm such score submissions exceeds the annual budget for steak lunches at headquarters. In addition, certain issues have arisen with the extra point categories. President Craigie suggested that while it is difficult to pinpoint his duties and routine location,  it is improbable that Vice President Biden was able to appear at Field Day sites from Connecticut to Oregon within a 2 hour period, let alone Alabama and Oklahoma in the same timeframe. In an effort to deal with this diverse situation, the rules have been changed. All scoring will continue under the present system of rules- contact points, bands, etc. remain the same.  Extra point scoring will require photographic documentation. The major change: All scoring will be retained by the Field Day station managers. Thus- without submitting to a central location, and without knowing how any other station did in the contest, EVERY FIELD DAY STATION may legitimately lay claim to being #1 in their class, in their state scoring, and nationally. Says President Craigie, “Everybody wins! Everybody feels good! And nobody has to dress up like Abraham Lincoln just to get the ‘elected official’ extra points!” Further consideration is being held off until next year of additional changes. Included, the ability of each station to create its own category of extra points, to grow its score to the maximum possible. Another proposal would be to increase the base point for each contact from 1 or 2 (CW) to as many as 10 to 20.


Central Ohio Radio Club to revise system

(April 1) - The Central Ohio Radio Club (CORC) maintains a large repeater system in the state. As we all know, one of the primary functions is the Central Ohio Weather Net, on the 146.76 repeater. Recently, through grant funding, CORC was able to replace its entire system with state-of-the-art commercially rated equipment.  This is improved the performance and reliability of the system. However, several members of the CORC Board of Directors, overheard outside their annual winter board meeting in Honolulu, could be heard discussing the coming wave of Yaesu “Fusion” repeater systems. They noted Yaesu appeared to be flooding the market with low-cost repeater systems in a massive marketing effort to have systems available for their new digital radios. This new technology caused some of the board to research how CORC can stay ahead of the technological curve. As reporters listened with drinking glasses pressed to the door of the meeting, the following proposal was voted and approved. Citing the availability of early models of satellites, designed for use in the “Star Wars” national defense, it was approved to assume ownership of one of the stationary satellites. The weapons control system would then be converted to repeater control functions. Audio and touch tone control signals would be sent to the satellite for distribution. Some dissent was noted, however. Some thought the 4-10 second latency delay might be a problem, since operators now seem not to be able to wait one second for the voter system to work. A larger issue was the residual unused portion of the satellite control system.  CORC President Laura Perone, KA8IWB, was heard to tell the group, “That might be a problem. If someone send the wrong DTMF series, we’re not sure if the on-board laser system, or on-board missile launch controllers would interpret that as a command.”  Others were less worried, denying any warning messages to hams to be ~very~ careful in sending control tones. In the event the older control functions weren’t completely disabled, word should filter back from Russia in a few days, at which time Laura could tape an announcement for further attention. No date for official startup of the changeover was discussed.
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH