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On-Site Articles and Information

Disclaimer:

The articles and information provided here are for expanding the amateur radio and communications hobby experience. They are offered as one voice in many and not of a single over all authority. If you have a recommendation to be added, please contact the website administrator (Callsign at arrl.net).


12/6/15 - Fun with a Yaesu FTDX-3000D and ESSB

It's been a while since I posted anything on my website as life has kept me busy. But of late, I have had a slight break in the daily grind. I tested the air, read the tea leaves, checked the astronomical charts, and decided to purchase a new Yaesu FTDX-3000D. With a Black Friday discount of $100 and a rebate from Yaesu of $300, I couldn't go wrong!
There are plenty of write-ups about this radio all over the web so I thought I'd just do a little sharing about the transmitted audio from this little gem. It is outstanding! I cannot describe the feeling when I receive unsolicited comments about how nice the audio is on this radio. No matter where I go over the last couple of days, it has been nothing short of wonderful. I haven't dabbled much in ESSB but after this experience, I can see why others have spent so much time on it!
So, lets get to the hardware setup. Everything purchased, less the radio, is either a E-Bay find or a swapmeet special. We know what the radio is, so lets add in the other items. I'm using a Heil PR-40 element mounted in a PR-761 housing and a W2IHY Eqplus.
The only thing the EQplus does is match the the balanced line out from the PR-40 element to the unbalanced input of the FTDX-3000 front connector. If I'm feeling like ambiance, I will use the effects processor on the EQplus but it really isn't necessary.
Setting up the radio can be a bit daunting so to make this a bit easier for myself I ran the radio into my Motorola Communications Analyzer to allow for watching for excessive band-width on the spectrum and being able to hear the results of the adjustments.
These are the setting I'm settling on and would recommend as a starting point for either the PR-40 or PR761 elements. Under the menu settings, this is what I used;
104 – 3000WB, SSB TX BPF
159 – 100, PRMTRC EQ1 FREQ
160 – 2, PRMTRC EQ1 LEVEL
161 – 2, PRMTRC EQ1 BWWTH
162 – 700, PRMTRC EQ2 FREQ
163 - -3, PRMTRC EQ2 LEVEL
164 – 3, PRMTRC EQ2 BWWTH
165 – 3100, PRMTRC EQ3 FREQ
166 – 8, PRMTRC EQ3 LEVEL
167 – 2, PRMTRC EQ3 BWWTH
The setting beyond this are for when you use the speech processor which I haven't had a need for so far.
I hope this gets you started in the right direction with this radio. It is a fun unit and I hope to hear your results on the air!
73 de KG7HQ

7/10/11 - SalmonCon 2011

July 8th, 9th and 10th had a not so widely known event called the Salmoncon. This is a parallel event to Lobstercon. These are 2 premier QRP events in Northwest Washington State and Northern New England. It's a "relaxed QRP forum," where QRPers can gather to discuss the finer points of the hobby. Lobstercon has been held in Brunswick, Maine, at the Thomas Point Beach campground.

Why am I writing about it? Well, I had an opportunity to visit this event and found it to be an enjoyable time. There were several interesting discussions and presentations which were relevant to the current and new radio technologies surrounding QRP operations and building. The talks were light in nature which promoted great dialog between the presenters and audience.
There was a small swap table and big give away table to pick through. And did I mention the PotLuck food? Yummy!

I personnaly enjoyed the presentation from ElectroKraft on the upcoming KX-3 unit. It is a pretty cool unit that I believe will be stealing the hearts of QRPers for years to come.

Next year in July I recommend taking a trip out to Valley Camp in North Bend, WA and join in on this annual event.

Announcements

Disclaimer:

The announcements and information provided here are for expanding the amateur radio and communications hobby experience. They are offered as a free non-commercial service. If you have a recommendation to be added, please contact the website administrator (Callsign at arrl.net).



4/12/10 - Radio Amateurs of Skagit County site gets a makeover

I’m taking an opportunity to toot the horn for Radio Amateurs of Skagit County newly designed website. (http://www.rasconline.org/) Maybe I’m just tooting my own horn at the same time as I’m the current admin for the site. The recent makeover has taken the site from a 1990’s “what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) design to a blog style allowing for leadership and members to interact with each other during the course of the month between official meetings. You can take a look at the prior site style by visiting http://web.archive.org/web/20080704235701/http://www.rasconline.org/
The current design is based on Drupal allowing for a modularized approach to its build and maintenance. This allows for easy and quick updates to keep the site securities current with the added bonus of flexibility on layout and function. Since this site is also based on Drupal, I didn’t have much of a learning curve to getting it up and function. A little graphical editing using Gimp, I was able to provide for a fresh and crisp look.
The multi-tiered approach to access securities allows for expanding the user experience while limiting the potential for site contamination from website trollers who only have ill intent. As the users get used to the open nature of a community website, I am hoping that this will generated additional interests in current technologies.
Along with the blog style approach, members now can post photos of hobby related events and functions. This helps in establishing a personality to the site thus showing those interesting in Amateur Radio a peek into the hobby.
Since this redesign is only a couple of weeks old, there will be additional pages and items added as the leadership and members take a more active role. Take a moment and stop on by.

11/28/09 - VHFDX.NET Propagation Suspended

It has been brought to my attention that vhf.net, a popular propagation website has been suspended by it's host IPOWER.COM. I don't have any information to the reasoning at this time but will keep checking on it as I have it linked from the Ionospheric Propagation Maps Page on this site.



10/16/09 - 900MHz back up on Lyman Hill!

After a long absence off of Lyman hill, the 927.6875/R is back up and running.

The W7UMH/R fell victim to the harsh conditions of the repeater site a couple of years ago. The amateur radio community had lost many of it's resources after a chain of weather related events crippled the repeater site. Slowly, after years of efforts by many different groups, the site has slowly recovered from that harsh season.

Now with the new tower erected and equipment being re-installed, the site is blossoming back to life in time for the 2009-2010 winter season. From the user perspective.... We say "Thank You"!!

The 927.6875/R is one of the best 900Mhz systems available in Northwest Washington State. I have used this system from King County North into Whatcom County with just a Kenwood handheld.

I encourage you to check into this facet of amateur radio. It is a quiet band allowing for experimentation and additional knowledge of UHF RF propagation.

9/20/09 - 220MHz is Looking Better in Western Washington

I have to apologize up front that this website has been a bit static. With two months working in St Louis, MO, I have been a bit distracted from the local events occurring in Washington State.

One of these are the repairs of the 224.780 (N7IPB/R). Located on Lyman Hill around 4300 feet, it has one of the most commanding locations for coverage on the Puget Sound. It is by far one of the most sensitive systems on the site as it out performs both it's 2Meter and 70Cm counter parts.

Now for many in this area, this doesn't equate to being news worthy. What isn't well know is that this system is now linked to 224.28 K5IN/R) on Capital Peak just South of Olympia, WA.!

Now that is news worthy as this linked system easily covers from well into British Columbia Canada, West towards Forks, WA, East passed Marblemount, WA and South towards Castle Rock Washington!

WOW!!!!!

These systems are supported by the the efforts of K5IN, N7IPB and the Wetnet Team. I highly recommend paying a visit to one of these repeaters and getting to know the individuals who frequent them. They are a techie type group who enjoy meeting new people.

On a side note, if you any other announcements of similar nature, please either drop me a line direct or become a member of this site and post them yourself!



8/26/09 - New radios announced at JAIA (Japan)

The following was submitted by Scott (N7SS)....

The two major venues for new radio announcements are Dayton and Tokyo. The Tokyo JAIA hamfest was just last weekend (August 21-23). There were undoubtedly plenty of announcements I missed but I wanted to mention the new products I saw from the big three (Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu). These radios are a long way from production (some further than others) and pricing is a long way from determined.

Icom announced the IC-9100. It appears to combine the features of the IC-746Pro and IC-910 into a single updated radio (shack in a box). It has IF DSP so there are no filters to buy and still offers high power on 2m (100w) and 70cm (75w). There will be an optional 1.2G band unit, a DSTAR DV mode option and optional narrow roofing filters. Adam Farson already has a web page up at http://www.ab4oj.com/icom/ic9100/main.html which includes a prerelease brochure (in English) and there is a Yahoo group already buzzing with questions and guesses.

Ever since I got my ham license, I’ve been hearing that Kenwood is getting out of the ham radio business. That have always had a smaller product line than Icom and Yaesu but new models have arrived intermittently. This year at Dayton Kenwood had nothing new to show but had a huge banner with pictures of radio components that hinted at a new HF rig coming. They are now showing a new box all lit up but it still has a large number of buttons with no labels. It’s hard to determine features and you have to assume availability is a ways off. The one sure thing is they aren’t out of the ham radio business yet.

Several years ago Kenwood discontinued their TH-D7A handheld with APRS. It was a good rig but big and heavy with marginal battery life. This year Yaesu tried to update it with the VX-8r. Now Kenwood is showing their own update. It appears to be a bit smaller than the TH-D7 but still larger than the VX-8r. It is a dual VFO dual-bander with APRS but other features are hard to determine. Hopefully it will offer access to the TNC - like the old TH-D7 but unlike the VX-8r. I have only found some video with Japanese audio like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM96Wl7Alag.

Yaesu has stepped further into the APRS ring with their new FTM-530. This appears to be a direct competitor to the Kenwood TM-D710. It’s a dual VFO dual-bander with APRS and a very large display with speakers on the back of the head. It has optional Bluetooth and an internal GPS. You can find a Japanese flyer at http://www.onjapan.net/2009/hamfair/img_3638.jpg and below is a rough translation of the interesting bits.

Full dot matrix LCD
Dual receive, full duplex, GPS location display, APRS, a variety of timers?
2/440 50W, 20W model also available. Right and Left VFOs independently band-configurable with simultaneous receive & full duplex.
Way cool stuff happens when you connect the FGPS-1 GPS antenna.
Location, direction, compass display, speed display, simplified NAV feature shows distance and direction to destination. Features useful for motorsports include: Various timer features (UP/Down timer) and APRS distance/direction info on other stations. Location memories (waypoints?) with alarm feature when nearing a stored waypoint. Graph display of altitude and barometric pressure.
Graphical display of APRS WX info. Up to 67 chars APRS message RX/TX.
High speed bandscope!
Front panel has L/R speakers, one for each VFO
Optional voice module.
Eight color LCD backlight.
1200/9600 8-pin mini DIN data port.
Front panel is separate standard - not meant to be attached to the main box. 3m cable is included, with 6m cable optional.
Something about rear die-cast (heat sink) ensures stable TX output.
Wide band RX. Something about being able to pick up Japan Railways stuff.
FM stereo reception.
Some crap about ARTS that nobody cares about.
Lotsa memories, DTMF memories, atmospheric pressure sensor, easy-to-operate set menu. Handsfree with Bluetooth BU-1 unit.
PTT and mic are built into the front panel, thus operation without a hand mic is possible.

As people return from the show, more photos and blogs will start appearing. One of the best photo galleries I’ve seen so far is http://www.onjapan.net/2009/hamfair/index.html. You’ll find Yaesu products under the Standard label.

Looks like we have some cool products coming!

Scott N7SS


8/11/09 - Washington State DNR Site Repeater Questions

I received this from Jim Pace (K7CEX) Section Manager, Western Washingon. Keep an eye on the Western Washington Section Web for additional information.

No doubt, many of you have heard reports that the Washington State
Department of Natural Resources has a plan to sell off some of their
Mountain Top assets (towers, buildings and equipment -- not the land)
to a commercial company or companies. The reports are true, and
members of the ARRL Western Washington Section Staff have been working
with DNR and some Legislators since the end of June, to determine just
what impact this move will have on Amateur Radio repeaters located on
DNR sites.

The DNR issue touches more than just Amateur Radio Repeaters;
Washington State Patrol, many County Sheriffs and other agencies who
lease space from DNR, will be impacted, making this more than an
Amateur Radio concern. The selling off of State of Washington Assets
in order to raise funds to help budgets ... seems to make the matter a
'Taxpayer' concern.

The time is coming when we will ask you all to get involved on behalf
of Amateur Radio. But for now, just get prepared. Find the numbers
and addresses for the Legislators who represent the District you live
in and be prepared to get involved in a letter writing and phone call
campaign.

At this time, there is a Statute on the books that provides for funds
from the Legislature, to fund all of the DNR site leases for repeaters
used for Emergency Communications, except for $100.00 per year. Of
course, this Law can be amended by the same body -- but as I said, it
is there now, so at this time nothing changes.

More information will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, so stand by
and be prepared to help.

If you have any further questions don't hesitate to contact me at:
k7cex@arrl.org

73

Jim Pace K7CEX
ARRL Section Manager
Western Washington

8/10/09 - SEDRO Digipeater Getting a Facelift.

When something is sickly, we attend to it. When things break... We linger on it.

The SEDRO Digipeater isn't an exception. Last month, the system seemed to disappear off the APRS screens. While the core of the system was just fine, the transmitter lost it's finals reducing it to milliwatts.

As I watched this event unfold while I was in St Louis, MO on business, this gave me a chance to think through the future state for the system. As of 7/31/09, the digipeater consisted of the following...

Toshiba Libretto 60ct Mini-Laptop running Windows 95 in DOS mode. The APRS software was DigiNed. The transmitter was a Yaesu FT-1500 at 10 Watts into a 4-element yagi at 30 feet. This was all ran off a Astron 12 Amp power supply on a UPS.

The above configuration allowed for 1 hour and 53 minutes of sustained operation without commercial power. This was measured earlier this year when Skagit County and the surrounding areas suffered a sustained power outage start from a vehicle accident.

So with things slowly falling apart, what can be done to better server the community? And, how can this be done on a limited budget? Well, for one, an Internet gateway would be a big plus. This will keep East Central Skagit County on the map during all the VHF seasonal propagation changes. Another item is to be able to increase the service life off the commercial grid. This would provide increased stability in support of ARES/RACES missions. After asking around, I was asked about increased range. This is one thing that I won't be able to achieve. Mother Nature has a say in this matter. The topology of Skagit County prevents any clear "digital" path beyond the city of Rockport. Now this doesn't mean the Sedro digipeater can't be heard, it just can't be reliably decoded beyond that area. I have experienced the same results at 10 watts up to 100 watts. So, I might as well leave the power turned down as not to interfere with other operations and receive the benifit of conserving power during emergent situations.

After chatting with individuals from the NWAPRS and WETNET groups, I decided to go with an "open-sourced software" solution to the digipeaters operations. By using an off the shelf wireless router and the Linux operating system, I can not only have a "zero" cost (legally) approach, but also be able to save on power consumption by not running a full sized computer. Wow!!!!! What a bonus! A single item to address two of the above items!

The router of choice in this case is the Linksys WRTL54GS with the OpenWRT Software packages. I will maintain using DigiNed as the APRS Solution due to it is absolutely the most flexible and stable package available. In addition, I will be running APRSD to allow for the gateway functions to my APRS Server of choice.

For a temporary fix, I placed my Taesu FT-1500 from my APRS Tracker in place as the transmitter which is fed into a Kamtronics KAM in Kiss mode. The neat thing about this is that just about any TNC2 has kiss mode which makes this a flexible system to assemble.

The system is up and operating as of the this write up. The coverages are the same but with the addition of the Internet gateway functions. This is being handled through my hope wireless router using WPA2 securities. By focusing in on traffic that is 100Km in distance from the Digipeater location allows for a very small band width footprint on my ISP connection.

My future plans are to do additional refinements to the system where you may see it off line for 5 - 10 minute periods as I slowly adjust the system. I also plan on replacing the transmitter and TNC with new units. Again, I'm looking at reducing the power consumption which should result in a sustaining system that last 3 plus hours without power. I'm also looking at breaking off the transmitter onto it's own UPS in the future.

So here we are, a face lifted system for all to use. Lets go out and have some fun with it! I'll post updates to this article as I accomplish the rest of the upgrades. For additional information on the OpenWRT software packages, visit http://www.wetnet.net . many thanks to Ken (N7IPB) for working with me on the system debugging.

7/11/09 - Having Troubles Reading This Site? Try a Different Theme!

Lets face it..... Not everyone has perfect eye site and idea lighting conditions for web surfing.

In order to to assist on this, I have enabled a site feature in which you can select an alternate theme to view this site. The only draw back is that you require to have an account to achieve this.

I have enables a "light" version of the dark theme you classically see when first visiting. This theme has been configured to be an easier read under less than perfect conditions. The light background allows for better displaying for those of you who prefer it.

I'm hearing some of the questions right now. How does one do this you ask? Well, it does start with a user account. If you haven't subscribed to this site yet, please do. You are "Required" to use your Amateur Radio callsign and a valid verifiable email as a user. I know so some this may seem petty but I have maintain a "ZERO SPAM" policy. If my email to you kicks back, you will be disabled till such time I can achieve that verification. I have had 22 "individuals" try to create spam accounts in the last 2 weeks. If you hadn't notice... this is a spam free zone and I intend to keep it that way for your pleasure.

This rules does apply to myself also. You will not get any unsolicited emails and/or promotions as a result of this web site. I respect your privacy as an user

Now to the good stuff!

With your account logged in follow these easy steps....

1. On the Left side of the page under your callsign, select "My Account"
2. You should have a role of tabs and within these select "Edit"
3. Scroll down till you find the "Theme Selection" menu block.
4. Select the preferred theme.
5. Continue to scroll down and select the "Save" button to register your changes.

That is it! If you notice there are other items for you to update and control also. This is your account so please feel free to update it as desired. The only item you cannot not change on your own is your callsign. If you have a updated callsign issued, please contact me at my callsign at arrl.net for an account update.

7/6/09 - D-STAR Worldwide Contest

OK.... I'm not the biggest fan of D-Star but I am for hams getting involved.

Here is you chance to promote this facet of the amateur radio hobby. Though I don't like to promote specific manufacturers, I think this has some merit in that we may see further interest and development in digital modes within amateur radio.

Icom Inc. is sponsoring the first worldwide D-STAR Contest starting on July 25th through to the 31st.

The results will be announced on the Icom booth at the Tokyo Ham Fair 2009 with ten lucky winners will be selected from all participating stations and will receive either an IC-E80D or IC-80AD D-Star handheld as a prize.

Not a bad promotional to say the least. I will place this on the site calendar as a reminder for those of you who want to participate.

For additional details and a list of contest rules, please visit the Icom Inc. website:
http://www.icom.co.jp/world/d-contest.



7/4/09 - The Latest on the 145.190/R Antenna Replacement Dates

From the most recent Email sent out by Roger (W6TOZ)...

The real news is that Wednesday, July 8th, Day Wireless and the RASC technical team is going to Lyman Peak to replace the 145.19/r repeater antenna and coaxial cable. Anticipated problems are being handled. Unanticipated problems might cause a days delay till Thursday. But, there is a very positive attitude and I don't think we're gonna have any desperate problems.

OPERATIONS:
On Wednesday, the Morning net will be unaffected. The repeater will go down when safety dictates it go down and that should be Wednesday 10AM ish at the earliest. A shutdown message will be transmitted from the site at the time we bring it down.

Announcements should be made on the repeater between now and Wednesday about the planned repeater outage. Yes Dwayne, this announcement you can make on the radio!.

WITH LUCK:
Steve WA7ETE will be able to conduct the ARES net on the new configuration Wednesday evening. Also, on thursday, the morning net will have something to talk about REALLY.

I am confident that signal strengths should go up at many outlying receiver sites. But the coverage issue is not very predictable. Any changes in coverage will have to be determined by folks in the perimeter of the coverage area reporting in either increase or decrease in signal strength. Obviously, I hope that someone in the South Hill of Puyallup, using a 5-watt handheld and an2M Isopole will be full quieting into the reconfigured repeater. We can hope, can we not?



7/2/09 - Island County Has Changed Emcomm Leadership.

The only thing in this world that stays constant is change.

Reported out today, John (K7ACT) is retiring from his Emergency Coordinator/Radio Officer for Island County Washington State. The changing of the watch commenced 7/1/09 with Alan (K6ZY) succeeding him.

Many thanks goes to John for his leadership and professionalism in the area of emergency communications.



7/2/09 - US sets final emergency responder wireless pilot

Scott (N7SS) caught this tidbit and posted it on the SEATCP mailing list. It appears that with the upcoming 2010 Olyimpics in Vancouver, BC., there will be a trial run with this technology.

The referenced article describes at a high level what this system is to accomplish. It also sets the tone on how we as amateur radio operators may be able to adopt the technology within our emergency service communications platforms.

Having a unique area due to our topology will give a good indication whether it can be deployed here in the Pacific West Cost

The referenced article is at http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/43196



6/23/09 - SCARC Field Day 2009

Sent out by John (N7MZ)

SCARC Field Day
June 27 and 28, 2009
W7PIG
3A WWA

Location:
Warm Beach Christian Camps and Conference Center
20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood, WA 98292
Stanwood, Washington

From Points North (Mt Vernon, Bellingham)
Going South on I-5 take exit 212 (Stanwood/Camano Island).
* Turn right onto Hwy 532 and travel approximately 5 1/4 miles west to Stanwood.
* Turn left at the 3rd light onto 88th Ave NW and go 1/4 mile to stop sign.
* Turn right onto Marine Drive and travel South for approximately 4 miles to Camp entrance on the right.
*
From Points South (Marysville, Everett)

Going North on I-5 take exit 206 (Lakewood/Smokey Point).
* Turn left onto 172nd St NE, cross over freeway and proceed approximately 2 1/4 miles to the second stop sign.
* Turn right onto Hwy 531 (Lakewood Road) and travel approximately 6 miles to the stop sign at Marine Drive.
* Turn right onto Marine Drive and go approximately 1 1/4 miles to Camp entrance on the left.
*
For Info Contact: Vic Henry N7KRE 360.387.7705 or nwecop@tgi.net
Experience Amateur Radio !


You are invited to SCARC's presentation of AMATEUR RADIO FIELD DAY 2009.

Traditionally the last full weekend in June is ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) Field Day. This year the event will be on June 27-28, 2009. With over 3,000 entries Field Day is the most participated on the air activity in North America. For ARRL affiliated clubs Field Day is a great opportunity to introduce new people to Amateur Radio and bring Club and Community members together.

Like many Amateur Radio activities, there are various ways to operate on Field Day. Some Clubs treat Field Day like an emergency preparedness drill, working off grid, using solar and battery power. Others attempt To work as many stations as possible to collect points in the contest. Yet others make Field Day a social event. Then there are clubs like the Stanwood-Camano Amateur Radio Club (SCARC) that include all the above and then some. The emergency preparedness aspect is covered, with installation and fabrication of various antennas, working off the grid, experimenting with Solar Panels for charging batteries and operating equipment. All the time with the objective of learning and having fun.

The SCARC is an open Club, meaning that you do not have to be a member or a HAM to participate, anyone can come out and play. If you have an interest in Radio Communications, you won't want to miss this Yearly Event. At 1 pm there is a scheduled tour and Photo Shoot and News Opportunity for dignitaries attending. It is expected that there will several Elected Officials, State, County, Local and representatives from various emergency response groups, including Red Cross, CERT, and others. The main communication operation will continue from 1200 Local Time on June 27th until 1200 local time on the 28th, with continuing activity during the 24 hour Event. This is an open Event and anyone and everyone is welcome, Come out and participate. Get hands on Amateur Radio Experience and have fun.

Field Day 2009 Event Schedule:

June 27 - Saturday

6AM – Noon Equipment Setup

12 Noon 24 hour Field Day Radio Operation begin

12 Noon 2 meter Antenna Construct/Test Class by W4OWO/KB7RYX

1PM – 2PM Press, dignitary and visitor Photo Shoot

2PM PL259 Soldering demonstration by W7PCK

4PM PL259 Soldering demonstration by N7MZ

3PM – 6PM BBQ and Potluck

June 28 - Sunday

9AM – 11AM Good Morning Hearty Breakfast

12 Noon 24 Hour Field Day Radio Operation ends

noon - ? Tear Down


If you and your guests, plan to attend the Saturday Evening " BBQ - Potluck Dinner" please feel free to bring any side dish of your choice.. If you plan to bring your dish earlier than 3PM, please make arrangements to keep the dish cold until the potluck begins. SCARC will provide the main coarse including BBQ hamburgers and bratwurst.. SCARC will also supply soft drinks, coffee, tea and water.... Prepared and served by the WA7OYI Arnett Cook Team.
On the Sunday morning plan to attend the "Good Morning Hearty Breakfast", even if you don't stay overnight!!! Get there early !!! The menu will include scramble eggs, brats, bacon and diced potato hashbrowns, coffee, tea, and water ! mumm good!
Contact WA7OYI - Dick, if you have questions for the Food Committee... spudarnett@aol.com
The Stanwood Camano Amateur Radio Club is a Special Service Club, one of only three in the State of Washington. As a Special Service Club, SCARC offers, training, testing, license preparation and other activities. Check out the SCARC website http://www.scarcwa.org/ and come and join us.
Feel free to pass this email notice, to anyone you know, interested in Amateur Radio !

Vic Henry - N7KRE - President SCARC



6/23/09 - A Cool Website for locating Hardware Pin Outs!

I just found this while getting my morning dosage of Slashdot.

A site called "allpinouts.org" is built on the theory of providing hardware pinouts to many different types of equipment such as PDA's, Cellphones, modems, etc.

The intent is to give the basic information needed to allow for hardware hacking of electronic devices. What a cool idea!. For more information please visit the slashdot story at http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/06/22/233210/A-Wiki-For-Cable-and-Connector-Pin-Outs?art_pos=2

I'm linking the site off on mine for future references. http://www.allpinouts.org/



3/9/2014 - KG7HQ Website, New look and feel

Today I rolled out the fouth generation of this website. Upgrading to Drupal 7 from Drupal 6 has gone well but some minor pains. As of right now my local weather doesn't display correctly and I have lost my function for photo albums. But with that mentioned, it does have a fresh and current look and feel.
I'm using my website as the test platform before moving forward with http://www.nwarrl.wetnet.net/ and http://www.rasconline.org/ . If there were to be major problems I'd rather identify them here and learn how to work out the bugs before imapcting a true supporting website.
The photos on my front page are of my own. This will create a unique look as not to dupliucate what others have put in place before me. I think of it as an artistic apporach.
Well, I have a lot to do so I'm closing this with a 73 and good DX to all.

6/19/09 - Walter Cronkite Very Ill

Many of you, like myself would sit down and watch the evening news with Walter Cronkite.

If did hadn't known, even at age 92, he is a Novice ham operator with a callsign of (KB2GSD). Walter has spent a lot of time up here in the Pacific Northwest visiting Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. Being an Amercian icon on CBS Evening News, he help shape our worldly views for many decades. We hope for his speedy recovery. You can read the story at http://www.watchingthemediaforyou.com/2009/06/walter-cronkite-sick.html



9/7/10 - AA7AT, Murray Goddard... SK

Passed on by NX7Q.....

Sorry to inform you all that Murray Goddard, AA7AT, passed away friday. The world is a much better place because of him--I can't think of anyone with more class and more of a gentleman. He may have made more people happy though his development of Kodachrome film than anyone before or since.



6/11/09 - 2009 ARRL Field Day Locator

As we close in on this years Field day event, our local representatives have been busy with the plans.

Using following link, enter in and search for K7IP or N7GDE for this years Field Day location. Since this years event is co-sponsored by the Radio Amateurs of Skagit County and Wetnet, you will find both located at N7RIG's (Richard) home QTH.
The link to the ARRL site is http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/locator.php

Thank you both Dwayne (W7ABF) and Doug (K7IP) for posting the above.



6/11/09 - Live APRS Map Pages Updated

With a little bit of free time and playing around with some basic HTML, I now have APRS messaging embedded into the live APRS Pages.

This additional service is provided by Findu.com and makes for a nice addition to the page usage. Give it a try at Live APRS Maps You are required to have a valid amateur radio license to use this service.



5/26/09 - Coming soon!! "The Northwest’s Largest Ham Convention"

It's less than 10 days away and counting!

Yes, it's that time of year where amateur radio operators from around the region gather at Seaside, Oregon to attend the 27th annual SEAPAC Convention. Last year we had it a little rough as the weather wasn't playing nice with cooler temperatures and rain. Of course this is the Pacific Northwest and it takes a lot more than that to dampen the spirits of dedicated ham operators!

This years event, spanning from June 5th through June 7th, has much to offer keeping the attendees lists high. With the free seminars on Saturday, this year they will also be offering four free 90 minute seminars on Friday. In addition, there will be a seminar on Sunday morning on Antenna types for portable use during an emergency with commentary on the operating characteristics of each type. All of our seminars are free to all registered convention attendees. Cool stuff!
And let's not forget the swap meet and all the treasures one can find as you cruise through the many roles of vendors and friends. Darn it!! I want to leave and go there now!

I'll personally be hooking up with the WETNET Group as we also bring forth our own version of amateur radio (Geek Style). This is where we show and tell our gadgets and concepts, seeding and inspiring each other into some really cool projects.

During the times which I have spare, I will be operating my FT-817ND digital QRP from either the beach or motel room. Being equipped with a Buddipole and 350 foot of wire, I can pretty much setup anywhere. So if for some chance you cannot attend in person, you can attend in spirit via RF.

And wait!!! That's not all....

You will also see my APRS systems operating from down there as I deploy systems running Xastir and Maemo Mapper as clients. So be on the look out for the callsigns of KG7HQ (Laptop), KG7HQ-9 (Mobile) and KG7HQ-12 (Nokia N810).

5/16/09 - APRS Map Pages Update

After a couple of reviews and requests, I have updated the look of the APRS Maps on this site.

I'm now using the hybrid maps that show the satellite and highway maps combined. This does slow down the loading for the users but gives a detailed background to reference by.

In addition, I have separated out the commercial ship mapping on to their own pages. This request was for those who wanted to see the ship traffic but didn't want to have the APRS traffic with it.

All the updated and added pages are located under the "Live APRS Maps" titled page. They draw the live information from http://aprs.fi/



5/15/09 - New Docs Show FCC Glossed Over BPL Flaws

Just as the title suggests and we radio amateurs knew all along.
I captured this information at the below linked site. It is interesting that once again, it's proven that politics can over shadow sound technology and physical laws. For shame on the part of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to allow for this to happen internally.
Please take a moment to read this referenced article on dslreports.com
New Docs Show FCC Glossed Over BPL Flaws

5/7/09 - SB649: Government Audit of Frequency Spectrum

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There is a Senate bill SB649 "Radio Spectrum Inventory Act" introduced by Kerry and Snowe which will, if passed, require the government to conduct a complete inventory of the country's spectrum allocations in the 300MHz - 3.5GHz range.

This appears to be an attempt to assess re-allocation for certain commercial applications, and has the active support of Google and the wireless telecommunications industry. The bill is presently in the Commerce committee.

NOTE from KG7HQ: A copy of the bill has been uploaded as a down loadable attachment from this site. To see the original copy please visit http://www.kangas.com/S649.pdf

The 3.5 GHz band is allocated to amateurs as such:
3300-3500 MHz:
3456.3-3456.4 Propagation beacons

So, the question is: anyone out there care if hams lose this?
How many hams are using this band in our neck of the woods? Any repeaters or beacons installed? How many hams actually using this band frequently? How many hams currently own equipment for it?

Notice also that 432MHz and 1.2GHz bands will be scrutinized also. I can't imagine ham use of 70cm band being threatened, given the heavy use and ARES importance there; 1.2GHz may be a different story.

Stephen W9SK
District Legislative Action Coordinator, Northwest District, ARRL,



4/28/09 - Attention Oregon State Amateur Radio Operators - HB2377

HB2377 is one of the mobile communication bills in the house that impacts
Ham radio, and it is heading to the House Floor for a vote in the next 7-10
days.

We need your help TODAY to try and defeat this bill. The only exemption for
Ham radio in the bill is during emergency or public service activities.

Please write your representative and ask them to vote against the bill for
the following reasons:

1. It is poorly written. The bill seeks to keep people focused on the road
but still allows people to takes their eyes off the road to dial and program
their phones.

2. Even Representatives on the committee were unsure during the Work Session
if the bill does what it is supposed to. Some believe could be interpreted
to exempt texting while others read the language differently.

3. One clause in the bill, allowing "activating or deactivating a mobile
device", is so vague it could allow nearly any activity depending on how the
phrase is interpreted.

Because the bill is so poorly written, at this point it is not necessary to
be concerned about the effect on amateur radio in your arguments to your
State Representative.

You can find your legislator by visiting this site:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

You can email your legislator directly from this form:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/writelegsltr/

NOTE: Please keep your arguments against the bill confined to the points
above. It is important to send a unified message, and to send a message that
has the best arguments against the bill. Remember, the goal is to get a NO
vote from members. At this point, the best argument for a NO vote is that
the bill is poorly written and vague. An argument solely based on Ham
radio's concerns is not going to convince legislators to vote NO.

BACKGROUND:

Last weekend, after I sent out the section news for April, I learned that a
work session with the House Transportation Committee had been scheduled for
HB2377.

Normally the public is not allowed to testify at the work sessions but I
attended to listen. Rep. Boone from Clatsop County, was concerned about how
this would affect the ham radio operators so the chair of the committee
allowed me to come up and answer her questions. So the fact that some of the
Representatives recognize me and know I represent amateur radio has some
benefit.

I expressed my concerns about the issues with the bill. It passed the
Transportation Committee with the amendments anyway. Rep. Tomei claimed that
all my concerns were addressed. Rep. Boone came back to talk to me after the
work session and said she would make sure my concerns were addressed in the
final wording. I again expressed my concerns to her.

We will continue working on the floor of the House, and on the Senate side
if it passes the House. Since there is a tight timeframe, there is likely to
be a lot of opposition on the Senate side, and there were so many 'no' votes
from the House Transportation Committee, there is a very good chance that a
mobile communication bill will not pass this session.

Kevin Curry, KA7KYQ, recommended to me that I work with a specific
representative who is sympathetic to our cause and have a "floor letter"
distributed to all House members when it comes to the floor of the House. I
will begin working on that.

If it passes there, we will immediately begin working with the appropriate
committee on the Senate side. The Senate President is most likely going to
assign it to the Senate Business and Transportation Committee.

Please be assured that we are watching the bill. Many times when there is
movement, we have very little notice. This is particularly true late in the
legislative session. But either I will be at any hearings and work sessions
or I will make sure someone is there in my place. In addition I am building
a list of primary contacts around the state for each representative and
senator so I can make sure we can quickly make a quality contact from every
district. If you want to be my primary contact, please let me know who your
representative and senator is.

I will be working on getting a "floor letter" distributed and beginning to
make contacts with appropriate senate committee members.

I will keep you updated.

----------------------------------------------------------
ARRL Oregon Section
Section Manager: Bonnie M. Altus, AB7ZQ
ab7zq@arrl.org



4/19/09 - Linuxfest Northwest

It's coming up fast on April 25th & 26th.... "If you live in a house full of Windowz, You may not have the privacy you think!"

This annual event in Bellingham Washington is a great opportunity to learn about the Linux operating system. Individuals from many of the major vendor distrubutions will be there to answer your questions about this type of operating system.

Many of you already have experienced Linux in devices you use and own. Items from cellphones to lottery kiosks, PDA's to home wifi/routers units. Yes it is everywhere and best of all.... It's open sourced.

This means if you want to drive into things, you can contribute to the worldwide development without some monster software manufacturer slamming you with a law suit. Likewise, you can "Legally" share these software's without penalty!

Interested in expanding your horizons? Please take a little time and visit this free learning event. Visit the Linux Northwest Website for directions and information.


4/14/09 - Let's do The Stanwood/Camino Island Hamfest!

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We are coming up on that time of year!!!

Yes, I'm talking about the Stanwood/Camino Island Hamfest. This event captures the very essence of amateur radio with friends and family coming together in a common place. I'm not talking about the worlds biggest event..... Nope.... This is the home town event which maintains a consistent personality year after year.

Here, a person can feel at ease as you browse the tables and chat with friends abroad. It's hard to capture in words the charm of this event. So I'll do one better.....

Get on over here and join us!

Don't tell me you don't know where it is being held at? Or even when??
This event takes place on May 9, 2009. For directions, please see the attached .pdf file.

I know you don't want to miss out on the fun.... So I'll see you there!

Michael - KG7HQ

Articles

On-Site Articles

Disclaimer:

The articles and information provided here are for expanding the amateur radio and communications hobby experience. They are offered as one voice in many and not of a single over all authority. If you have a recommendation to be added, please contact the website administrator (callsign at arrl.net.


4/2/10 - ARRL, American Red Cross, MOU - A Positive Step Forward

When the American Red Cross (ARC) implemented the policy of having both background and credit checks for everyone who volunteers to support them, I personally applied the brakes on any volunteer support to that agency. My reasoning was that as a volunteer emergency communicator operating under the umbrella of ARES or RACES, should not be subject to an external agency’s internal requirements to gain access to my personal information. With today’s challenges in keeping personal information safe, I can’t say with confidence, that volunteers representing the different chapters of the ARC’s will apply the same level of caution as I do.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreed upon by the ARRL takes a positive step forward in protecting personal information by waiving the requirements for amateur radio emergency communicators to have a credit check. For individuals who may not want to be directly associated with the ARC, this is a positive step forward allowing for mutual aid as supporting communicators.

As for the requirement for background checks, this still has sticky undertones. Even as a volunteer communicator you must have this done as a prerequisite to supporting this agency. I understand the reasoning for this policy as it was driven by those who abused their volunteer positions. What hasn’t been provided for is the definition of what qualifies for a background check. The ARC will do this for you free of charge, but you run the personal risk of your personal information being compromised by those who do not share your concerns for privacy (Remembering that you are turning this over to a volunteer). So for those of us who opt for a alternative approach, we do not have a definition of what can used in lieu of the ARC check.

Here in Skagit County, we have Department of Emergency Management (DEM) ID cards. You can only get one of these from completing a background check. The question that comes forth is…

Do this allow me to serve as a volunteer communicator in support of the ARC here in Skagit County?

Do this allow me to serve as a volunteer communicator in support of the ARC anywhere in Washington State? How about expanding this to… The State of Oregon?

What prompts me to ask these questions are due to not knowing if the Official Red Cross Volunteer, at the place of service, will have the resources to confirm whether any background check document is factual or not. How can he or she verify that my DEM Card fulfills the prerequisite requirement? This hole in process can be a show stopper for the well meaning radio communicator. It also can serve as an embarrassing scenario for both the ARC Representative and Radio Operator if not handled properly.

As we move forward as volunteer emergency communicators, we have some additional challenges to consider while applying our art to external agencies.

The American Red Cross is a premier provider of health and human services. They are second to none in supporting those in need during and after disaster strikes. I encourage you to consider volunteering your services to agencies like the ARC. But I also ask you to exercise caution on who you entrust your personal information to. Once compromised, the expense of recovery will over shadow the enjoyment of community service and hobby.

Thoughts??

6/16/10 - Al K7IEY... Silent Key

I'm sadden to announce that we have lost a leader here in the Amateur Radio Community. Al Norton, K7IEY passed on June 15,2010 at 10:30 pm. His sudden down turn in health was due to a very aggressive cancer.
Al was instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to Whatcom County hams and was the spear head for the many years of the MBARC Electronics swap meet and flea market.

3/26/10 - Radio Amateurs of Skagit County make it in the news...

Sometimes it is nice to see write ups about amateur radio by non-hams. The link below is a recent article written by the Skagit Valley Herald.
http://www.goskagit.com/home/article/so_much_more_than_a_hobby_ham_radio...

3/26/10 - Local Ham Getting Involved

I was sent this a couple of days ago and thought I'd share it on the site.

When we have an opportunity to inspire others, we should seize the moment. There are too many times we pass on an opportunity to engage others or even provide something to get them inspired. I have to admit that I am guilty in this also.

Bob (K7MXE) went that extra step at a local ham radio club meeting. He built and brought in a home brewed QRP rig for a club raffle. It caught the attention of the members to the point of drawing in $55.00 raffle proceeds. Wow! Way to go Bob! This small token engaged the membership. />

Thank you for sharing this!


12/30/09 - Travelling with Amateur Radio

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Happy Holidays!

Travelling can provide some additional challenges especially with the increase of airport securities. So instead of carrying my HT with me, I had decided to pack it away while in transit. Now stripped of my RF umbilical cord I'm resorting to alternative means to get that ham radio fix.

First thing is first! I booted up Xastir and relocated myself at SeaTac airport on the map. Then checked into a local seattle repeater (WA7HJR/R on 444.65) using Echolink under Wine. And finally, I went to an online SDR receiver site to listen in on HF.
This is actually pretty cool as I started to attract attention as I held a quick QSO using Echolink. Who said you can't take the hobby with you?

Now granted, this isn't "pure" amateur radio. After all, I'm not directly using RF for my listening and communicating. But with that said, it was much more fun than staring at the News Networks repeating each story dozens of times.

After a couple hour flight, I arrived at a hotel in Brisbane, CA. It's time to break out the VX-8 handi-talkie. Setting it up for 144.39 @ 1200bd, I did a test run with it from here to San Francisco and back. Running at 5 Watts without an out door antenna does create some challenges but over all I was happy that was being tracked.

I have attached a desktop captures of my laptop operating from the hotel. I'm using Ubuntu Linux V9.10x64 as the operating system. The programs diplayed and running are Firefox for the WebSDR (Software Defined Radios with web access), Pidgin (instant messenger client), Xastir (APRS Client through the Internet), and EchoLink (Windows program ran under Wine). I feel the need throw out a mischievous jab.. All the above software's including the OS is free! And all less the Echolink client are open sourced and our continuously updated with new features and capabilities.

As I travelled up and down the California coast, I found that APRS coverage was fairly good. It was interesting to see that 5 Watts and and HT antenna was able to hand shake with the digipeaters in the area. This along with a couple of QSO's on 70cm and 2Mtrs provided the RF fix needed. A word of caution about operating in the unfamiliar area. Please be careful operating if your not used to the roads and driving habits of the locals. I found it challenging to drive in the metro areas as there isn't a lot of patients for slow or lost drivers .

I have one notable in this trip that I thought was really cool. I ran into a couple of young women at a overlook along the "17 Mile drive" near Carmel, CA. They had a 3 element VHF Yagi and a beacon receiver tracking tagged sea otters as they moved around there habitat. They were using simple direction finding techniques to locate the tags. I have to admit that it sparked fond memories of days past where I participated in "bunny and/or fox hunts of hidden transmitters!

We know that in today's world, there will be challenges to over come when travelling with amateur radio. My suggestion is to contact the airline that your flying with to see what can be currectly carried aboard or has to be packed in cargo. This doesn't mean we can't take our hobby with. It does mean that we can be good ambassadors to our hobby and take a proactive step forward in being informed.

Safe journey on your travels.....



12/23/09 - Cellphone Ban in British Columbia, CA

I picked this up off the Pacific Northwest VHF reflector posted by Gabor (VE7DXG).

For those of you travelling into BC, be aware of the new laws being enacted on January 1, 2010. There are exclusions for Emergency Responders and Amateur Radio Operators but it appears to effective for those who are licensed in Canada. I didn't read any provisions for US licensed hams visiting the Province.

I have asked the question and am awaiting a reply from the ARRL. Meanwhile, I'm attaching the file and the link to download it directly from the gov.bc.ca site.

http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/osmv/publications/docs/electronic-devices-whil...

NOTE: Received note from the ARRL and it appears that the bilateral agreement has no bearing on both the Washington State and British Columbia laws. If you don't have a valid licence issued by the country your operating in, you are not extended the exemption for that country.



11/7/09 - In Memory of KD7NM (Robert Donnell)

This article is written in memory of Bob Donnell (KD7NM). With sudden events, it has been difficult to capture how Bob influenced our local community. Bob's life revolved around community and public service with willingness to donate technical expertise and personal time. His love of all things digital and sense of community were truly inspirational and in tradition of the spirit of amateur radio. Notes and memories collected below were gathered at the Wetnet Brunch on 11/4/09.

NOTE: This page is under edit as I compile reflections and thoughts. Please feel free to Email me direct or log into this site and add addition comments, thoughts and reflections.

For a photo galley capturing years of friendship and service, please visit
"Memories in Time... Bob Donnell (KD7NM) SK".


Present were members of Bob's family. Ham operators present were:

KG7HQ, K7IP , N0GQ, W7AKA, N7NWZ, N7IJX, WE7U, N8GNJ, KD7MYC, N7RIG, N7IPB, WA7QFR, WA7FUS, KE7WSF, KE7OQU, K7OFT, N0FPS, KC7IAY, KD7UT, N7SS, K7RHM, WA7NWP, VE6VQ.

In total, there were in excess of 35 individuals gathered to share in Bob's memories, a tribute to his selfless contributions.


Many have reflected that Bob was the technical thread that has helped keep this and other groups together. His ability to interface and willingness to lend a hand on short notice was one of his core attributes. "Always there in time of need". We are at Big Daddy's in Woodinville, WA. This location is where Bob comes to help set-up evening recordings of groups on stage. It is another facet of him that many didn't know of.

Happy to share his wealth of knowledge and a key leader in the early packet radio net development in the early mid-1980's.

On the beach at Seaside, Bob provided many with life long memories. One of which being noted for his famous "Mudslide" drinks which became the standard.

A love life and willingness to share in it. Engaged youth while sharing his passion for technologies.

Mild mannered and very considerate. A very special friend.

Always had a good answer to difficult questions. A right hand man in the community, as in public service events like the American Lung Association Bike-A-Thon (from Seattle to San Diego) and the MS 150.

Anything Bob took on as a project, he went the extra mile to make sure it was completed right the first time. Quick witted and true to his word.

Bob served as the 44.24.XX.XX domain coordinator. For many here in the digital community, he was our mentor into programs like NOS and JNOS and TCP/IP technologies.

Active on the 146.97 Repeater in the mid-1970's. Instigator of the Wetnet Field Day events and always donated his room at Seaside, OR as the gathering place for . Was the instigator of having Field Day at N7RIG's house.

Good/bad was if you asked Bob a technical question you would get a answer that went well over most peoples head.

Was involved with assembling and installing repeaters systems around the Puget Sound. Helped get youth involved in Amateur Radio.

Bob was a "Can-Do" guy. If one gives a single sentence answer, Bob could come back with a 3 paragraph detailed wrap up.

Submitted by Doug (K7IP)

*** My Friend...***

2009 Northwest APRS Summer Gathering

Welcome to the information page for the 2009 NWAPRS Summer Gathering at Valley Camp in North Bend, WA.

Talk in frequency is 146.52, alternate on APRS Voice Alert 144.39 t100.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

  Saturday, September 12, 2009       Sunday, September 13, 2009    
Dave K7GPS Breakfast 0630   Dave K7GPS Breakfast 0630  
Herb KB7UVC APRS 101 0800   Show and Tell and Project Troubleshooting Day 0800  
Bob K7OFT UHF APRS, Propagation 0900   0900  
John  K7VE D-Star 1000   1000  
Bill WA7NWP APRS 3.0 1100   1100  
Lunch   1200   Lunch   1200  
Ken N7IPB WiFi Routers, OpenWRT, and embedded Linux, Oh MY! 1300   Everyone left General Discussion 1300  
Carl KD7ZUZ Washington Aerospace Club Rocketry APRS Tracking 1400     1400  
Larry N7BCP SDR - Flex 3000 Intro and Demo 1500     1500  
Barry KS7DX 4K0DX Russian Drift Ice Station Operation 1988-89 1600   1600  

For event directions, please visit the site calendar at
http://www.kg7hq.wetnet.net/node/98

Contact k7ip@arrl.net to request an alternate time or to volunteer a presentation


8/13/09 - Verizon.net changes and The Evolution E-mail Client

I know this is off topic from the typical Amateur Radio and Communications topics. But since I hadn't seen this posted anywhere, I thought I throw this out for others to use.

Many of us use Ubuntu Linux as our Operating System (OS) of choice. And with Gnome being the default Desktop many use Evolution as our E-mail client. For the most part, this works perfectly find for my daily usages from different accounts.
Now comes the change from Verizon. They are in the process of changing over the default SMTP mail port from “25” to “587”. This is to help deduce unauthorized usage of their networks for spamming and increase securing (through obscurity) for the subscribing client.
Now to the informed, this is at best a short term solution to what is a global problem. It is like placing a piece of tape on a leaking balloon.... Slowing down the escaping air but not fixing it. But with that said, they are at least trying.
I went to their pages and found some very basic information that covered Outlook and Outlook Express mail clients. But I also found that though the mentioned other mail clients, the links were broken going to them. And there was nothing on Evolution which is used by a mass majority of Ubuntu users. In addition, I didn't find a "Menu Option" to select these changes. So the below is how I addressed the upcoming from Verizon.net.
So Lets step through this quickly so you don't loose your email service from this ISP!
1.Lets open Evolution. Please refer to the three attached images
2.On the top menu bar... Select “Edit” then “Preferences”
3.With the Evolution Preferences window open, select your Verizon account, then the “Edit” button on the right.
4.You will have your Account Editor window displaying. Now select the “Sending Email” tab.
5.Under server configuration, change this to “outgoing.verizon.net:587” (Without the quotes).
6.Select OK and close out the rest of the windows.
7.Now this isn't mandatory, but I always close the program and restart it fresh to make sure all the changes take place.
8.Send yourself an e-mail. If this goes through, your client should be ready to go!

I hope this helps you out as changes like this take place.


7/22/09 - Mountaintopping Beginnings

I've caught the VHF mountaintopping bug big time. This all started with a QST article a couple of years ago about an EME contact that was accidentally made by a low power/small antenna station in Nevada with K1JT's wsjt software. That morphed into an episode with weak signal meteor scatter (before my relocation back to paradise), and several unsatisfactory attempts to do EME on my own. It was probably inevitable given that I'm something of a nut for Field Day and contesting too.

Mountaintopping is a logical extension of all of the above (well, maybe NOT so good for EME...). After the usual year of procrastination, I finally broke down and made the effort to get SOMETHING going that I could drag up to a high spot and make some noise with. Hence the Ranger acquisition. Now, the Ranger is a very basic 6 meter radio. It is simple and runs enough power (100 watts) to make a decent rover station. It does have a couple of drawbacks. I'm not really happy with the receiver sensitivity, but I think putting an internal pre-amp in it will help that. We'll see.. The other minor problem with it for meteor scatter is that there's no way to turn off the RIT without tinkering in the guts. If anyone out there has a schematic for the RCI 5054DX100, I'd sure like to buy, beg, or borrow a copy for a bit. I'm guessing that this thing is a clone of the Ranger 10/12 meter radio, which there IS some documentation on, but without the actual drawing it's hard to tell.

The first outing was this year's June VHF QSO party. I managed to work about 2 hours of the contest, six was in pretty good shape, and had a lot of fun even if the score wasn't very good. The only band worked was six meters, with the 2 el moxon about 13 feet up, and the whole show powered from the vehicle battery. The logging laptop (N3FJP logging software) was powered with a small 100 watt inverter. Everything worked...sort of...there's a photo of the location in the album.

The real problem, aside from not wanting to run the Durango battery completely flat, was that the inverter/laptop charger combination made a hellacious racket when it was plugged in. That was not satisfactory at all. It was a good experience, though, and the next effort was a little bit better.

Last weekend (July 19), I went up Sauk Mt in CN98 to work the CQ WW VHF contest. There's a nice little pullout at about 1900' with good views to the SE, S, W and NW. I also bought a small two-stroke 1200w genny and took 2m along as well. Working on the generator the evening before the trip, it was illustrated clearly to RTFM!!!!! I poured a few oz of fuel in the tank and proceeded to exhaust myself trying to get this brand new beast to stay running. It would run for a few seconds, then die. Of course, when I went back and read the instructions during the recovery period, it said clearly, "FILL THE TANK". Duh.

With a full tank, the little one-cubic-foot 40 lb genny fired right up and ran. Go figure.

What a pleasant outing! What a gross VHF disappointment! I'm not sure yet whether six was just crummy, or the location is not that great, or if the Ranger is a tad deaf. 11 contacts and 4 grid squares in four hours wasn't so hot. Maybe there wasn't much activity for that particular contest. Let's not talk about 2 meters. The trusty Icom IC-251 did a good job even though I wasn't using anything but a whip. It heard repeaters fine. Just nobody out there working contest.

Positive aspects were that the generator was great, purred along as needed. The computer worked fine, and without the hash that the inverter generates, the only issues were other noise sources hearable from that location. I even heard a couple of stations on meteor burst and tropo on six on wsjt. Of course, Murphy was there, too. When I grabbed all the junk to toss in the car, I conveniently forgot to throw in the Signalink USB. So much for digital modes...the wsjt experience was from a direct connect from the rx audio to the laptop without an interface. I tried for a while to use audio coupling with the computer speakers and mic, but that sucked.

All in all, it was a good trip. The weather was as good as it can get...72 degrees, cloudless sky, and a slight breeze. The road is gravel all the way to the parking lot at the top, with some SERIOUS ruts in places. Doable with care in a sedan, better in a 4wd.

Improvement list:

Better operating position arrangements. This balancing radio on the console-sitting in the back seat thing isn't optimal.

Screen tent with a table/chair, or some internal mounting arrangement is going to be required to get serious about this.

Pictures will be/are in the album.

7/21/09 - Goodbye Walter

I'm just barely old enough to remember hearing Edward R. Murrow's news broadcasts in the early 50's. When I was growing up in South Lake Wobegon, MN, we were over a hundred miles from the nearest tv station, so radio was pretty much the only entertainment and I got hooked into short wave at an early age. Ed was always there on CBS, and his steady and reassuring voice seemed to say that despite the problems in the world, unbiased news reporting would give us the information we needed to get through to better times.

When a TV first appeared in my family's house, it was a big deal. The antenna perched on the roof and swung this way and that, searching (usually with unsatisfactory results) for KGLO in Mason City, Iowa, or WCCO, KSTP, WTCN, or KMSP from Minneapolis-St. Paul. Occasionally the sporadic E would give us images from other more exotic locations, but we primarily tried to make sense of the snowy signal from those stations. WCCO, the CBS affiliate, had the most stable signal, and the evening in the history teacher's home was never complete without the newscast at dinner time. We watched Ed Murrow's program, and I vaguely remember the days of the Army-McCarthy hearings in the very early 50's. But Ed was getting near retirement, and a new face had appeared on the CBS evening news...Walter Cronkite. He wasn't especially handsome or charismatic. But he was sincere, always prepared, and much like Ed Murrow, had a way of reassuring you that despite whatever unpleasantness might be going on in the world, he could help you understand and deal with it. And then came The Twentieth Century. A new form of reporting, the documentary, made it's debut with this fine program. Walter Cronkite was the host, and that Sunday afternoon program was soon the center of my entertainment world.

It still seems to me today that the 1960's were the most interesting and newsworthy time in the last century. Although the world had gone through two global wars, the 60's were really about the technological and political aftereffects of them. Walter was there for us. He was an enthusiast of the space program, a compassionate reporter of the tragedy of Viet Nam, a pillar for us during that horrible time when John Kennedy was killed, and a powerful voice in reporting the racial unrest and changes during the struggle of minorities for acceptance and equal rights.

Although he came to ham radio later in life, I always wished I could have had even a short qso with him to say 'thanks' for his familiarity and steadfastness. He unquestionably earned and richly deserved the title of most trusted man in America. I never got the chance to speak personally to him, but felt that I knew him as part of my family.

I suppose there is a human tendency to lionize celebrity, for good or bad. If ever anyone deserved elevation to American hero status though, it was Walter Cronkite. I have known for years that I would unashamedly weep at his inevitable passing. I think about the 50's and 60's more and more these days as I myself age. His voice has not graced the news hour for more than 20 years, but I still hear it whenever I think of those days..."And that's the way it is..."

Goodbye old friend. You will be missed.

7/21/09 - Echos of Apollo 40th anniversary of Apollo 11

While waiting for input from one of the design engineers on my work project, I've had the opportunity to listen to the NASA webcast of the entire audio stream from the Apollo 11 moon mission. The timing has been such that when I have gotten to work, the crew is in a rest period and the link is pretty quiet. But the thrill yesterday of hearing "The Eagle has landed" again was just as real as it was when I heard it on CBS 40 years ago. Thanks to the marvel that is the Internet, we get to relive a major piece of world history.

My daughter, 25 years old, was blase about it. Her world is about MTV, 25,000 channels of cable tv, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. She gives little thought to the fact that virtually all of the technology that improves her life so much is derived directly from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. As we boomers age out of influence in society, the one thing we have unfortunately not left behind is that sense of mission that permeated America during those days. Yes, we were embroiled in Viet Nam, and that certainly had an impact on the space program. But the key element of it was competition to prove that the American system of politics and economics was vastly superior to Communism. Let's not forget, though, that despite the fact we were first to put men on the moon, the Soviets were VERY able opponents in the race. They had an impressive string of firsts in nearly every aspect of the space program except for the actual landing on the moon. Without that competition, could we have accomplished the moon landings?

Today, talk is about retiring the space shuttle and developing a moon colony by the middle of the second decade of the 21st century. One wonders if we can make that goal, given the lack of international competition and lack of national focus. The space program pays indirect benefits, exactly the same as investment in the education system does. These are economic times during which the terminally shortsighted demand a visible return on investment. I'm skeptical that NASA, or any government agency or national political figure for that matter, can marshal the same spirit of teamwork that got Neal Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins to the moon on this day 40 years ago.

7/10/09 - Traveling into a new area? Visit a local APRS Map.

Now that I have started to travel again, what can I do with amateur radio?

The answer is easy. Fire up a web browser and look at a live APRS map! When I arrived into the St Louis, MO area, I didn't have a clue to what repeater to use or what simplex frequency was active with the locals. As many of you have found out on your own, calling on 146.52 or 446.0 doesn't always provide best results. In fact, in most cases all I get is dead air space. Hmmmm, that can be a story all to it's own!

I ran into this when I arrived and figured that I take a peek using my live APRS web pages as a baseline to start from. I just zoomed them out and pulled it over to St Louis area and zoomed back in.

What did I find?? A bunch of operators and a couple of "APRS Objects" that not only showed a local repeater (W0MA) but a Hamfest location that will be taking place in a week or so! Way Cool and a bonus to go! I would never of know about it without the use of APRS.
This doesn't mean you should go out and flood the local area with objects on APRS. Something like this may get you some attention that isn't always noted as positive. Network congestion plays a big factor and in the Pacific Northwest we have a lot of that. So if you decide to do this, consult a knowledgeable individual or group within your local area to see what would be acceptable.
By the way.... I was able to meet Erv (N0NOB) on that repeater I mentioned earlier who in turn invited me to a local ham club meeting. Now.... That is the spirit of Ham Radio!

6/25/09 - Solar LED Cap

OK.... So I'm partial to gadgets and gizmo's... But when I saw this, I can imagine a bunch of ham operators running around on an ARES/RACES/SAR mission. A ball cap with solar charged LED's built into the visor. This can be handy for activities that involve having both your hands tied up.
I found this listed on dvice.com. If you haven't been to this site, your missing out on what up and coming in the gadget word. when you have a few minutes, feed the geek in you and take a look at this fun site.....
http://dvice.com/archives/2009/06/solar-led-cap-i.php



6/15/09 - 145.190/R (N7GDE) Update

The Lyman Hill site is being worked on!
I received a nice status updated from Roger (W6TOZ)today. From the following, it appears that in a short period, we will have some additional work done on the repeater system.
"Day wireless believes that our antenna replacement work should begin in about two weeks - around the last week of June. I am going to move the 300-ft roll of 7/8 Heliax and the corresponding connectors to the Day Wireless shop this week. Day has the big vehicles for transporting a 20-ft box of antenna and the 6-ft diameter coil of Heliax to Lyman - much better so than my Ford Explorer, or Lonnie's P/U truck. The precise time and day that the antenna replacement will take place is chiefly dependent on the tower crew's work load and schedule. We have no influence on that schedule. We can only be prepared, like a bunch of boy scouts or ARES 1st responders, to get the max work done when DAY presents the opportunity."
"The repeater will be down for a daylight 12 hr (max) period for antenna replacement (AR) on one day near June 31st or July 1 whichever comes 1st."
There you have it from Roger. We are looking forward towards the system performing like in the yesteryear.

6/16/09 - United States Amateur Radio Numbers on the Rise

This is a bit of good news for our hobby...

I found this posted by George (K3UD) on QRZ.com. He has this broken out nicely there but here is the jist of the article....

Numbers of US population and the number of
hams at the start of each decade from 1930.

Year Population # Hams Growth Rate
1930 123,202,624 - 19,000
1940 132,164,569 - 56,000 +194%
1950 151,325,798 - 87,000 +55%
1960 179,323,175 - 230,000 +164%
1970 203,211,926 - 263,918 +15%
1980 226,545,805 - 393,353 +49%
1990 248,709,873 - 502,677 +28%
2000 281,421,906 - 682,240 +36%
2008 303,000,000 - 658,648 -3.5% (Est. population)
2009 306,684,279 - 671,525 -2.0% (Est. population)

Notice that over the last year, our total population has risen. This bears watching as it still doesn't make up for the reducing in numbers from the year 2000.
I highly recommend looking at the full article on QRZ.com to get the full scope of the picture.



4/18/11 - Richard (N7RIG) Caught in the Wild

Just when you thought it was safe.... Richard was caught in the the wild at Linuxfest Northwest!!! An avid user of virus latent OS call Windows, he was embedded in a conference session taking in the open source wisdom of the masses. And to note that it was Kool-aid free!

4/25/10 - Wetnet visits Linuxfest Northwest

Can you say fun and interesting? Yes, this annual event brings together many from all walks of life to celebrate innovation. The usage of open source solutions as a means to bridge the gap created by individuals around the world contributing to a common cause.
Linuxfest allows for the newly curious through season professional to come together and share experiences and ideas to further the promotion of innovation. I saw some great examples from star gazing and tracking through to network solutions. Gamers had fun while web designers learned new crafts. Using embedded software to having a desktop system that anyone could use.
I encourage you to attend these events as they do give you a flavor of the future of computing and consumer electronics.
Here are a couple of photos from the group visit...
http://www.kg7hq.wetnet.net/node/250


5/21/11 - Radio Shack wants our input???

Can this be really true? I can't believe my eyes when I saw this. Radio Shack looking towards it's customer base to shape it's future.

http://blog.radioshack.com/post/2011/05/19/RadioShack-And-The-DIY-Commun...

It was back in the 1970's when I first shopped at radio shack. It saw a candy store for radio and electronics hobbyists.at one time I used to look forward to going into town just to walk the isles of neat gadgets and components. It never failed that I'd end up going home with something.

Now, I avoid the store of canned garbage. It is not a resource, it is not promote innovative thinking, and it does not reflect good prices and selections.

I'm hoping that radio shacks fresh approach is followed through. I'd rather drive 2 hours to Fry's Electronics then go 10 minutes to Radio Shack.

5/29/09 - Troposhperic Ducting?

We have very warm dry weather creeping up the coast... Could that mean we will have tropo conditions?

Troposheric ducting is one of the more interesting and fun things in Amateur Radio. During ducting ,, it is possible to communicate with stations on the VHF and UHF bands up to over 1000 miles away. That is pretty darn cool for a range of frequencies which normally carry signals upwards to 100 miles.

The spectrum we are focusing is mainly within the VHF (30-300MHz) and UHF (300-3000MHz) bands. This includes amateur radio, Public Service like police, fire and medical dispatches, TV (Both old and new HDTV), FM radio, Aviation.... The list is quite expansive. So even if your a radio scanner enthusiast, there can be some really interesting monitoring.

Let's look at how does this basically works and how can we enjoy it? Lets focus on the word "ducting". Within your house/school/office we use ducts to shuffle warm and cool air around to create circulation. In nature, atmospheric ducts form that can shuffle VHF and UHF radio waves well beyond line of sight range as described above. Tropospheric ducting occurs mostly in the warm weather months of the summer and sometimes in the presence of large storm systems.

Here in the Northwest, the Pacific Northwest VHF Society members use these and other radio wave conditions to enjoy long distance contacts beyond those of our normal daily ragchews and chats. For additional information on this and other VHF/UHF related information, visit their webpage at http://www.pnwvhfs.org/

7/18/10 - CQWW VHF... A lot of fun and Great PR!

I ran small but had a big impact!

I went out this year with the intent to run the QRP Hilltop class for the contest. I looked around locally for a nice convenient site with having to drive hours out of my way. At a recommendation of Doug (K7IP), I decided to give a hilltop a try called Cap Sante located Northeast of Anacortes, WA. I wasn't disappointed!

I broke out an old 11 element yagi for 2 Meters and used my Buddipole as a 2 element yagi for 6 Meters. The rig I used was my Yaesu FT-817ND which at less than 5 watts on each band qualifies my operation as a QRP entrée. I can't say that I am in the award winning ranks as a contester goes, but I did do well enough to keep it fun.

I covered 4 Grid Locators on both 2 and 6 Meters. At less than 5 watts at 500 ft.... That isn't too shabby. Most individuals were members of the Pacific Northwest VHF Society which made this even more enjoyable as I have met many of them through the years.

I have uploaded the pictures into the photo album linked to this article for your enjoyment


7/3/10 - Android and Amateur Radio

CQDX.... Via cellphone? It's not that far off....

With today's blending of technologies I have to say that I'm having a bit of fun with my new HTC Incredible currently running the Android V2.1 operating system. with the I-Phone craze moving forward, I had been watching the technology as it has expanded.

Normally, I like to have some level of separation between Amateur radio and outside technologies, but in this day of age, that is almost impossible to do. So instead of being a nay saying dinosaur, I'm slowly adapting and embarrassing new technologies.

A couple of weeks ago I had made a purchase of a HTC Incredible running the Android V2.1 OS. I really was tickled over how cool and smooth this little gem worked. And that was before I started to search and play with some of the applications.

Since I am heavily into ham radio, I wanted to find applications that would wet my taste in this area. These are what I have currently...

APRSdroid: A APRS Client that allows you to use the data or wifi network for APRS tracking. This doesn't provide a display but since I have a web browser, I can watch things that way.
Calculator: This provides me a nice calculator cutting antennas and other basic mth needs.
Callsign DB: This provides a quick look up of callsigns which can be handy when your on the move.
ConnectBot: A SSH client for working on this webpage remotely. It also has a built in Telnet client for those who like to connect to a DX Cluster.
Ham: This gives me the current solar conditions which includes information for VHF.
HamSatDroid: An AMSAT client for tracking satilites. It's very basic but nice to have.
IRLP Finder: For those interested in finding a IRPL node near them.
Pire Wheel: For the OHms and Watts Law buffs, this has been nice as a teaching and mentoring tool.
Scanner Radio: Live scanner sessions. Here in Westen Washington there is a scanner connected through the internet to listen to.
Telnet: I prefer to use this client for my DX Cluster monitoring.

Soon to come is an Echolink client. That would be one of the coolest applications to have on hand when travelling. There is a function version already for the I-Phone so I imagine the Android version should be completed soon.

Of course there are not the only applications I have as I do have other interests outside of Amateur radio. But as for this quick write up, this is a great start forward. All the above are being used as a free version. As this technology moves forward, I'm willing to bet there will be many more to play.... amuse.... Oh heck... Just have fun with!



7/31/10 - Radio Amateurs of Skagit County Picnic 2010

Brrrrr... The weather was cold, the people were warm!

That title really sums up this years event. Out of all the days this summer, RASC had picked this chilly one. The marine layer hung in late, the wind was brisk and the sharpness off the water had laid out the setting of an early spring day..... At the end of July!

Don't let that fool you. It was the warmth of the club members that really unfolded into a nice event. There was Hamburgers and Hot dogs on the grill and the trimmings to match. The pot-luck approach allowed for the a diverse menu selection.

We were lucky to have some "Ole Timers" in presence. Ed (W7JGM), Greg W4TER formally N7HOC) and Rich (N7FDM) to name a few. Needless to say, this allowed for a wide range of rag chew topics!

I took some pictures and placed them in a site album at http://www.kg7hq.wetnet.net/node/266 .

I like to take a moment to mention that it is events like this in which we capture the spirit of Amateur Radio. If your local club or organization doesn't do things like this, they are missing something special.



8/27/10 - Echolink on the Android

We asked and it came! The Echolink for Android application is out and working.

I downloaded it early yesterday morning and gave it a try why out in a remote location at Pacific Beach Washington. Using it was very easy and I had found it had some extra features the windows version didn't have.

My first connection was to the Echolink Server to give a once over. I had found that the transmit levels were a bit down but while still connected, I was able to give it an additional 6db to make it sound nice.

I did find one little item that wasn't working right on my HTC Incredible. It wa the push to talk function using the camera button. This could be the Echolink Software or the Froyo 2.2 I'm using as the phone has been jail broken. So I can't say at this time is it is a real problem. I was able to use the return button to release the PTT so I'm still good to go!

Well, back off to playing! Having a smart phone that doubles as a hobby toy is prety cool!



Senate Bill 5000 - Update January 18, 2013

This bill “Requires certain temporary or permanent guyed towers to be
lighted, marked, and painted or otherwise constructed to be visible in
clear air during daylight hours from a distance of
not less than two thousand feet.”

Amateur radio operators in the Western Washington Section are asked to
write their legislators in the house and senate requesting a no vote on
Senate Bill 5000. As noticed by several hams there are inconsistencies
in the bill that makes it preferable to ask our lawmakers to vote
against the bill. Use this link to locate your legislators and to send
them an e-mail:

http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

A clarification is needed regarding the chair of the Transportation
Committee. Rep. Judy Clibborn is Chair of the House Transportation
Committee. The Senate Transportation Committee is co-chaired by:

Senator Curtis King (R) 14th District Yakima County
curtis.king@leg.wa.gov

Senator Tracey Eide (D) 30th District King County
tracey.eide@leg.wa.gov

In 2007 Sen. Eide was helpful to the amateur radio community by
supporting HB 2335 which saved repeater operators from having to pay
commercial rates for sites on state property.

Since the Sen. Honeyford’s intentions are not clear your assistance
is requested by taking a few minutes to contact your legislators and
ask them to vote against SB 5000.

Thank you, your active involvement with this bill is very much
appreciated.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
ARRL Western Washington Section
Section Manager: Monte L Simpson, K2MLS
k2mls@arrl.org
--------------------------------------------------------------------

5/23/09 - More Earthquake Potential? Emergency Preparedness.

Well... In short, Yes!

It shouldn't surprise us that there is a lot more to learn about earthquakes. And here in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, we are doing that. The U.S. Geological Survey has released information that there are signs that the earthquake fault that runs under South Whidbey Island is larger than previously understood. The estimated potential of this fault has been calculated to 7.8 on the MMS

KOMO News recently posted a nice article on this pointing out a recent discovery about the above mentioned fault. It extends into Eastern Washington State down towards Yakima!

Lets draw attention back to the Nisqually intraslab earthquake which occurred at 10:54 a.m. PST (18:54 UTC), February 28, 2001. Measuring at 6.8 on the MMS and lasting approximately 45 seconds, it was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington State history. The epicenter of the earthquake was at a depth of 32 miles. Tremors were felt as far away as Portland, Oregon, across the border in Vancouver, Canada, and over 170 miles east into Pasco, Washington.

The event caused some property damage in Seattle and the surrounding areas. Although there were no reports of deaths directly from the earthquake, local news agencies reported that there was one death from a stress-related heart condition at the time of the earthquake with the addition of 400 injuries.

So lets not become complacent on our communications readiness. Make a habit of reviewing your personal emergency procedures for you and your family. It may be a good idea to let your employer know of your abilities as an emergency communicator as this could be beneficial to allowing time to spent in this activity. Have your emergency numbers programmed in and look into plans on where to meet during a localized event. And... How about your personal "Go Kit". There are many places on the Internet to get information on what you should have on hand.

Being prepared is the key to being able to provide emergency communications. As amateur radio operators, the community looks towards us for our leadership in this area till things normalize after a major event.



5/20/09 - Amateur Radio Clubs: Improper etiquette of asking for professional advice

The above titled situation happens all the time in our clubs and organizations.

As time passes, we gain friendships from individuals that
hold professional credentials or qualifications. Because there are friendships involved, we have a tendency to look passed good etiquette and ask for that "professional insight".

When I witness this happening, I instantly recall those medical or legal
ads we see/hear so commonly on our media. Something to the effect of... "not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice".

These types of statements are placed in to protect the individuals responsible for that product and/or service. So, right now is a great time to mention that I do not have any professional training in legal or medical advice. So this article is being typed to give a perspective in this area as it relates to our friendships and acquaintances within our organizations.

The questions on hand, as I see it, is "What are the consequences if we act based on the question(s) answered?" and "What happens to the professional if this leads to an unforeseen consequence?"

An individual that holds a professional credential like a Lawyer or Doctor is always considered just that. He or she cannot just take off the professional hat for a few moments to answer an impromptu question. This is exactly what we are asking of them when we approach them with a question that relates to their profession. The Professional at that time should decline answering as this could place him/her or yourself into a
potentially bad situation. If they do answer the question, the focus then shifts to an examination of question itself and how it could result in an "implied relationship".

This relationship could then be used as legal basis to sanction the professional thus impacting his or her standing and livelihood. This narrows circumstance in which it is
objectively reasonable for the individual to believe that a relationship has formed and has actually relied on the advice given.

So, even if you are friends with an individual with professional credentials, you should follow good etiquette by not asking for advice that relates to their credentials. If you or your club are in need of such advice, go out and retain a professional as this will cover all parties involved.

Within our Amateur Radio clubs and organizations priceless friendships are forged. Following good etiquette will maintain them into life long relationships.

Thoughts?



5/10/09 - Is D-Star Dying a Slow Death?

The title was a question posed to me during a recent amateur radio swap meet.

It is a valid question that I couldn't honestly answer without looking at some of the demographics. About a year and a half ago, I had bashed the D-Star system due to it's expense, single vendor source and in part being closed sourced with a proprietary chip set supplied by a single manufacturer. This weakness to this day makes this technology vulnerable to the flavor of the day.. (money).

I had also made comment on how Icom's approach was, in todays world, backwards to the trend of communications technology. This being that they marketed a anolog voice radio design with a digital after thought instead of designing a digital radio with VOIP (Voice Over IP) system added on. I did step out on a limb back then stating that it was a nice first step but seriously lacked the thunder to be a serious resolution to emergency communications.

That was then.... This is now. Though this website has readers and followers throughout the world, I am going to focus a little more locally as this is where the questions presented originated.

The first step in evaluating a technologies acceptance and health is to take a snapshot of usable systems within a given region. My thoughts are to look right in the back yard of Icom America, Redmond Washington. After all, if there is any indication of long term health you would expect to see it in the vendors back yard.
I know there are many who will disagree with what I'm saying here in this article and that is fine with me as I only represent a single voice. But it's hard to over look the obvious.....

In my first look around... I'm seeing a very sad state of affairs for the D-Star infrastructure.http://www.jfindu.net/DSTARRepeaters.aspx and zooming in on Washington State (The home of Icom America) I see only four systems active.

Yes... That is only four. That is very sad considering that two of them reside on Icom's front porch in distance. The stations noted are only in Western Washington and don't have a wide area of coverage to be effective under emergent situations. I can't help thinking this is due to what my initial impressions of the equipment and protocols used. If this was to be the future backbone to emergency communications systems deployed by amateur radio, it would of been adopted by Yaesu, Kenwood and others.

There was a little arrogance by Icom as they tried to push this down the communities throats by donating full systems thus forcing a foot hold in common place USA. That my friends failed. Questions and concerns were being buried by free-bee's and those who bought into the hipe went out and invested into it. Now there are many rigs that sit on shelves or if still in use, being so as a very expensive analog voice rig.

The interesting thing is that besides what we see here locally in Washington State, there are pockets of D-Star networks functioning and being expanded on. Just to my North in Southern BC, Canada, there is a vast integrated network infrastructure in place supporting their communication needs. So to say that this technology is dead would be very much premature. As questionable as the design is, Icom is providing a solution that does meet the needs of certain areas. It just not the worldly solution as they tried to promote over the last few years.

On a side note. As I page through the write ups about the cool applications that are in constant development, I see a truly focused following that will keep this system alive for years to come. Many of these individuals will stand behind this technology, nay saying anyone who defies them. As with any other group within our ranks of ham radio, these few don't speak on behalf of us all, but do have voice. This is proven out by looking at the above mentioned site, zooming in and truly observing the lack of infrastructure throughout the country.

With the onset of open sourced software defined radio systems, it will not be long before you see a truly adaptable Digital transceiver. VOIP and other digital modes will be second nature leaving the D-Star system in the dust. The technologies are here right now.... So it isn't rocket science anymore.

Nope, D-Star isn't dead..... It is however just a slow fizzle.



5/8/09 - Field Day Grilling Option

Sometimes.... One just has to have fun. Take the serious and place a little humor towards it.

So lets look at one option for field day grilling.... "Po-Boys Style"! I especially like the upper rack for warming things up slowly!

Any ideas on how to make this better?



4/24/09 - Oh Know! We are in the Dark!

When you least expect it.....It happens.

A vehicle hitting a power pole at Vista View road and Hwy 20 knocked out commercial power in a 4 county area. Skagit, Island, Snohomish and San Juan Counties were in one form or another impacted. As individuals realize that this wasn't going to be a momentary outage, the local repeater lit up with activity.

First reports unconfirmed were excessive smoke and low explosions from our local oil refinery. This later was noted as an upset situation as they burn off the extra gases during a power outage to prevent major complications during a power outage.

Amateur Radio communicators from the surrounding counties started to check in to establish a baseline of information. Through this, an area of effect was established quickly and noted in case the local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Skagit County called for ARES/RACES activation.

One hour into the outage has over two dozen local stations standing by. An interesting note that our local commercial stations didn't provide much information. Most details were received from out of the area on stations 60 miles plus away from the event area. This was true unless you were listening to the 145.190 (N7GDE/R). It didn't take long to realize that the amateur radio population in it's diversity of communication options, was doing quick assessments of area and providing those updates to a common spot.... The local repeater.

With more than 33 check-in's from around the region, we had a enhanced picture that exceeded the county's EOC's information. I personally don't care what others think about Amateur Radio.... I believe we "Rock"!

Five hours into the event and I received power back on. The total impact was to 93,000 customers in the Northwest Interior of Washington State. I give thanks to the leadership demonstrated by W7ABF, WB7WOW and KE7GQO. The rest of the recognition go to those who took the time and effort to do the right thing.... "Being part of a solution"



4/21/09 - Lastest Information on the N7GDE/R (145.190)

After waiting patiently for the winter season to pass, the Radio Amateurs of Skagit County technical team gets ready to tackle the left over repeater issues.

Please note that RASC is fully aware of the concerns around the repeater status. Questions about the system have been forwarded to me and I have communicated this with the Leadership of the club. Like yourselves, they are looking forward to having the site back up to it's original plus status.

The snows are slowly melting off of Lyman Hill and the team has been busy. Winter has provided some time to gather and upgrade existing resources in preparation of the upcoming on site work parties. The team lead by Roger (W6TOZ) will embark on the next steps to resolving the performance issues of the site.,/p>

A recent email from Roger indicated that, with concurrence from Day Wireless (The site host), there will be work with the antenna and transmission line system. As currently mounted, the radiation is distorted and absorbed into the south face of the supporting tower. This has been emphasised by the placing of the upper support which drew the antenna in towards the structure last fall. The support is in place to protect the antenna from the heavy mountain top winds and ice build up.

The N7GDE/R antenna is mounted in the center of the tower as shown in the photo. This resides on the South face of the tower which creates a shadow towards the North into British Columbia, Canada.

The old site equipment has been in work with updates and tuning by the team during the course of the winters season. This should provide for quick turn arounds when the site experiences failures in the future.



4/4/09 - Communicating: A Dead Art Within Amateur Radio

In the world of communications, Amateur Radio has played a major role towards the technologies we enjoy today. In addition, it has also contributed towards how the surrounding communications community conducts itself. The orderly fashion in which ham operators handle emergent situations in less than favorable conditions is still looked upon as the premier model to emulate.

But with that said, WE SUCK AS COMUNICATORS. I'm watching us self destruct one opportunity after another. We cry that the younger generation looks at us as a bunch of old fogies and yet we refuse to use the tools that they use to draw them in. You say that I'm a nay sayer? Lets look at it a bit closer....

How many clubs have active members that are 35 years or less in age? Better yet, what are those percentages? If it is less than 45%, your organization is dying fast. I listen to complaints that Amateur Radio Clubs can't get anyone young inspired, yet those very same clubs go out of their way to be non-inspirational.

The younger generations following us really do want to get involved but we old timers can't seem to get it through our thick skulls that we need to embrace the technologies of today to do it. Hey you!!!! Look at how you communicate!

A typical club answer is “Lets do a website”. That is a great first step. And I do mean that fully. But as long as your going to do this, ask yourself this.... “What is my core mission that will inspire new and younger members?” Take a look at your 1995 styled pages with the cartoon animated .gif files, grainy graphics and funny sounding midi files. Now that will inspire someone young to stay and read your content... "NOT" It screams “Non-Valued Old Persons Lame Website”.

Remember the lessons of past that were taught to us. The first impression is the lasting impression. Maybe you have a club with leaders and members that are too good to be bothered with the effort. Maybe it is something to the effect that none of your current population has the knowledge to create and maintain a value added site. Then it just maybe you already had talent that you drove away because you didn't want to embrace new concepts. There are a million and one reasons for your current state and everyone can dwell on it while beating the dead horse. I have a suggestion, pull the cranium from the posterior, put your egos away and honestly get those with talent engaged.

Another club answer is to email. This is another good option if done properly. Do you have a stable club email address? Or is it Joe Snuffy's address because he was the only one roped into it? Better yet, how about a reflector that members can subscribe to. This way members can post and others outside can read and be drawn in. Hmmm, Geee, what a concept.

Hey there Mr/Mrs/Miss Club Editor!!! Are you reading this? Better than some club newsletter, why don't you have an online blog which allows the world to see what your organization brings forth? This can be hosted on your cartoon website (after you bring it up to todays standards) as an open means of engaging not only your members, but the very population that has escaped your ranks.

I really can go on and on tearing and embarrassing those who feel they are above all of this. After all, it is just a dieing hobby of old farts who can't be bothered. It's the very same ones who cry in their coffee's at the meetings and push away the younger talents who can make that difference. It's those who want the world but they themselves never contribute to it.

How did this write up start?

Communicating: A Dead Art Within Amateur Radio.... Rest in Peace for we are now Dead on Arrival.

Consumer Alerts

Hobby Related Consumer Reports

Disclaimer:

The information provided here are for expanding the amateur radio and communications hobby experience. They are offered as one voice in many and not of a single over all authority. If you have a recommendation to be added, please contact the website administrator (Callsign at arrl.net).


5/22/10 - HP Expands Recall of Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Lithium-Ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computers

Units: About 54,000 (70,000 units were previously recalled in May 2009)

Importer: Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif.

Hazard: The recalled lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Since the May 2009 recall, HP has received 38 additional reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured resulting in 11 instances of minor personal injury and 31 instances of minor property damage.

Description: The recalled lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are used with various model series of HP and Compaq notebook computers. The chart below includes all notebook model numbers associated with batteries recalled to date. The computer model number is located at the top of the service label on the bottom of the notebook computer. Not all batteries matching the bar codes are being recalled.

Notebook Model and Number
Battery Bar Codes (^ in the code can be any letter or number)

HP Pavilion dv2000, dv2500, dv2700, dv6000, dv6500, dv6700, dx6000, dx6500, dx6700
62940^^AXV^^^^, 65035^^B7U^^^^, 65035^^B7V^^^^, 65035^^BGU^^^^, 65035^^BGV^^^^

HP Pavilion dv9000, dv9500, dv9700
65033^^B7U^^^^, 65033^^B7V, 65033^^BGU^^^^

Compaq Presario A900 C700, F500, F700, V3000, V3500, V3700, V6000, V6500, V6700
62940^^AXV^^^^, 65035^^B7U^^^^, 65035^^B7V^^^^, 65035^^BGU^^^^, 65035^^BGV^^^^

HP G6000, G7000
62940^^AXV^^^^, 65035^^B7U^^^^, 65035^^B7V^^^^, 65035^^BGU^^^^, 65035^^BGV^^^^

HP Compaq 6510b, 6515b, 6710b, 6710s, 6715b, 6715s
65000^^B5V^^^^

HP Compaq 6720s
67059^^V8U^^^^, 67059^^V8V^^^^

Sold at: Computer and electronics stores nationwide, hp.com and hpshopping.com from August 2007 through July 2008 for between $500 and $3,000. The battery packs were also sold separately for between $100 and $160.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the batteries referenced above from their notebook computer and contact HP to determine if their battery is included in this recall (even if the battery was previously checked). Consumers with recalled batteries will receive a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives. HP recommends that only batteries obtained from HP or an HP authorized reseller be used with HP notebook PCs.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, visit the HP Battery Replacement Program website at http://www.hp.com/support/BatteryReplacement or call (888) 202-4320 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10240.html

5/20/10 - FCC Consumer Reports

OPERATION OF CERTAIN WIRELESS MICROPHONES IS PROHIBITED AFTER JUNE 12, 2010

Under a new FCC rule, anyone who uses a wireless microphone. or similar device, that operates in the 700 MHz Band will have to stop operating their wireless microphone, or similar device, no later than June 12, 2010. To see if this law affects your wireless microphone, check our Manufacturers Equipment list at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/manufacturers.html.

All users of 700 MHz Band wireless microphones and similar devices - including theaters, churches, schools, conference centers, theme parks, sports leagues, and musicians - will need to retune or replace, if necessary, their equipment no later than June 12, 2010. Wireless microphones that operate outside of the 700 MHz Band are not affected.

Certain wireless microphones have operated in frequencies that are needed for public safety. When these microphones were first designed, the frequencies they used were in between the frequencies that television stations used to broadcast television programs. With the completion of the digital television (DTV) transition on June 12, 2009, television stations no longer use the frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz (the 700 MHz Band) for broadcast. These frequencies are now being used by public safety entities, such as police, fire and emergency services, and by commercial providers of wireless services, such as wireless broadband services.

The wireless microphones that had been operating in the old TV broadcast channels can cause harmful interference to these public safety and wireless consumer services. Therefore, all users of wireless microphones -- or certain low power auxiliary stations -- that operate on any of the frequencies in the 700 MHz band - including both licensed users and unlicensed users - now have to stop operating in this band. Because of the danger of interference with important radio communications services, continued use of wireless microphones in the 700 MHz band after June 12, 2010 may subject operators to severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

The FCC is only prohibiting the use of wireless microphones and similar devices that operate in the 700 MHz Band. You may continue to use wireless microphones and similar devices that operate on other broadcast frequencies. Microphones and other similar devices with cords are not affected by the FCC's decision.

Similar devices to wireless microphones are also known as equipment for "low power auxiliary stations". Typically these devices can transmit over distances of 100 meters. Examples of similar devices include wireless intercoms, wireless in-ear monitors (IEM"), wireless audio instrument links, and wireless cueing equipment. (also known as IFB).

For more information check out our Wireless Microphone Publications at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/Pubs.html and Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/FAQs.html.

5/1/10 - Comarco Recalls Power Adapters for Laptops Due to Burn Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Targus Universal Wall Power Adapters for Laptops

Units: About 507,000

Manufacturer: Comarco Inc. of, Lake Forest, Calif.

Hazard: Faulty wiring can cause the connector tips to heat and melt the plastic encasing the connector tips, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 518 incidents of the connector tips heating, 53 of which resulted in the melting of the plastic casings. Eight consumers have reported a finger tip or hand burn. No reports of medical attention were received.

Description: This recall involves the Targus Universal Wall Power Adapters for Laptops. Only models with the following SKU numbers are affected by this recall: APA23US-02, APA23US-03, APA23US-04, APA63US-03, APA63US-04, APM62US-03 and APM62US-04. The SKU number can be found on the underside of the adapter unit.

Sold at: WalMart, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Amazon.com and other retailers nationwide from June 2009 through March 2010 for between $89 and 109 for adapters for wall outlets only and for between $129 and $149 for adapters for both wall outlets and car/airplane use.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled adapter and contact Comarco to receive instructions on returning the unit for a free refurbished replacement.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Comarco toll-free at (877) 781-5186 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at www.regcen.com/comarcorecall

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10214.html


4/1/10 - Howard Berger Recalls Extension Cords and Power Strips Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. -The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Indoor and Outdoor Extension Cords and Power Strips

Units: About 12,000

Manufacturer: Howard Berger Co. Inc., of Cranbury, N.J.

Hazard: The extension cords and power strips have inadequate coating material around the cords and copper conductors that are smaller than required, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Brightway heavy duty outdoor extension cords and Brightway indoor household extension cords and power strips. Model numbers involved in the recall are R2600 through R2615 (outdoor extension cords), EE6 through EE20 (indoor extension cords) and MP6DG (power strips). "Brightway" is printed on the cords. Model numbers are printed on the product's packaging.

Sold at: Hardware and discount stores nationwide from August 2009 through October 2009 for between $1 and $20.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the extension cords and power strips and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Howard Berger at (800) 221-6895 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, visit the firm's Web site at www.hberger.com. Consumers can also email the firm at robertwinterstein@hberger.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10184.html

3/11/10 - Noncontact Electrical Tester Recalled by Fluke Due to Shock or Burn Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Fluke VoltAlert(r) Voltage Detector

Units: About 33,000

Manufacturer: Fluke Corporation, of Everett, Wash.

Hazard: The testers can fail to give an indication of live voltage, resulting in the operator falsely believing the electrical power is off, posing a risk of serious injury or death from electrical shock or thermal burns.

Incidents/Injuries: No injuries have been reported.

Description: The Fluke voltage testers look like a pen with a yellow, white and gray body. The testers measure 90 to 1000 volts alternating current (VAC). "Fluke" and the model number are printed on the front of each unit. The recall involves Fluke 1AC-A1-I VoltAlert(r) tester with the following model and item numbers:

Product Marking Description
1AC-AI FLUKE-1AC-I VoltAlert Voltage Tester

Sold at: Industrial distributors and electrical wholesalers nationwide from September 2009 through February 2010 for about $25.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled product immediately and contact Fluke for a free replacement.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Fluke toll-free at (888) 983-5853 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at www.fluke.com/1AC-A1recall

1/28/10 - FCC-Consumer News

Wireless Microphones

Under a new FCC rule, anyone who uses a wireless microphone that operates in the 700 MHz Band must stop operating their wireless microphone no later than June 12, 2010. All users of 700 MHz Band wireless microphones (and similar devices) - including theaters, churches, schools, conference centers, theme parks, and musicians -- will need to retune (where possible) or replace their wireless microphone equipment with other microphone devices no later than June 12, 2010. This action helps complete an important component of the DTV Transition by clearing the 700 MHz band to enable the rollout of communications services for public safety and the deployment of next generation 4G wireless devices for consumers.

For further information, please visit the website at www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones



1/16/10 - FCC Consumer News

Open Internet Workshop: Consumers, Transparency and the Open Internet

The FCC announces a public workshop on the Open Internet (often referred to as "net neutrality") on Tuesday, January 19, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. The workshop will specifically focus on consumer choice and the level of transparency needed to optimize their online experience. Participants will also discuss what consumers know about broadband providers' network management practices and to what degree transparency of those practices may impact the internet experience for consumers, internet-based small businesses and other entities.

While we will webstream the event via www.openinternet.gov, we cordially invite Washington, DC-area residents to join us live at the FCC Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC for the event. The workshop will feature live comments and questions from the audience. We hope to see you there.

For additional information, click your browser to the following URL: http://openinternet.gov/workshops/consumers-transparency-and-the-open-in...


1/14/10 - FCC Consumer News

FCC extends comment deadline on Children and Electronic Media

The FCC has extended the time to file comments on issues related to children's use of electronic media. The FCC's Notice of Inquiry on Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape can be found at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-09-94A1.doc.

Comments are now due February 24, 2010 and reply comments are due March 26, 2010.

How to file comments:

When filing comments, you must refer to MB Docket No. 09-194. The easiest way to file comments is to use the FCC's online Electronic Comment Filing System where you can:

-- submit brief comments at: http://tiny.cc/brief614

-- upload a document with your comments at: http://tiny.cc/upload348

You may also submit comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov.

Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. Filings can also be submitted by mail, addressed to: Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC 20554. More information about filing comments can be found at paragraphs 60-62 of the NOI.


1/8/10 - Acer Recalls Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Certain Acer Aspire-series Notebook Computers

Units: About 22,000

Manufacturer: Acer America Corporation, of San Jose, Calif.

Hazard: An internal microphone wire under the palm rest can short circuit and overheat. This poses a potential burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Acer has received three reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in slight melting of the external casing. No incidents occurred in the United States. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled notebook computer models are the Acer AS3410, AS3410T, AS3810T, AS3810TG, AS3810TZ and AS3810TZG. The computer's screen size is about 13.3 inches measured diagonally. Not all units are affected. Consumers should contact Acer to determine if their unit is included in the recall.

Sold at: ABS Computer Technologies, D&H Distributing, Fry's Electronics, Ingram Micro, Radio Shack, SED/American Express, Synnex Corporation, SYX Distribution, Tech Data Corporation and other retailers nationwide and Amazon.com from June 2009 through October 2009 for between $650 and $1,150.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled notebook computers immediately and contact Acer to determine if their notebook is affected and to receive a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Acer toll-free at (866) 695-2237 anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at www.acer.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10103.html

11/24/09 - FCC-ConsumerNews

FCC Seeks Comment on Children and Electronic Media

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on issues related to children's use of electronic media. The FCC's Notice of Inquiry on Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape can be found at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-09-94A1.doc. Comments are due January 25, 2010 and reply comments are due February 22, 2010.

The evolving electronic media landscape presents parents with both tremendous opportunities and critical challenges. On the one hand, electronic media technologies present many benefits for children, such as offering an almost unlimited potential for ways to educate children and provide them with the technological literacy needed to compete in a global economy. On the other hand, the technological developments that produce these benefits also present risks for children. The FCC's goal with the NOI is to gather data and recommendations from experts, industry, and parents that will enable us to identify actions that all stakeholders can take to enable parents and children to navigate this promising electronic media landscape safely and successfully.

The NOI seeks information on the extent to which children are using electronic media today, including television, cell phones and other mobile devices, DVD players and VCRs, video games and video game players, iPods and other MP3 players, and the Internet. The NOI also asks about the benefits and risks these technologies bring for children and the ways in which parents, teachers, and children can help reap the benefits of electronic media while minimizing the risks.

How to file comments:

When filing comments, you must refer to MB Docket No. 09-194. The easiest way to file comments is to use the FCC's online Electronic Comment Filing System where you can:

-- submit brief comments at: http://tiny.cc/brief614
-- upload a document with your comments at: http://tiny.cc/upload348

You may also submit comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov.

Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. Filings can also be submitted by mail, addressed to: Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC 20554. More information about filing comments can be found at paragraphs 60-62 of the NOI.

11/5/09 - FCC-ConsumerNews

FCC STAFF WORKSHOP TO FOCUS ON CAPITALIZATION STRATEGIES FOR SMALL AND DISADVANTAGED BUSINESSES

The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) will be hosting a workshop on capitalization strategies for Small and Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs) in the telecommunications industry on November 12, 2009 from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm at FCC headquarters, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

The workshop will address broadband opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses and will focus on the availability of financing for the growth and purchase of telecommunications facilities related to broadband technologies. The workshop will also explore capitalization in cable, wireless, TV and radio broadcasting, common carrier facilities, and ancillary services.

There will be two panels. The first panel will discuss public funding strategies, and the second panel will discuss private funding strategies. Each panelist will discuss how entrepreneurs and SDBs can obtain the capital needed to enter and remain active, productive, and profitable in the telecommunications and broadcast industries.

Some participants will have the opportunity to discuss their business plans and financial objectives with representatives from public and private funding sources. More details can be found in the Public Notice announcing this event at: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-294503A1.doc

Please go to http://www.broadband.gov/workshops/registration.htm?wsid=30 to register to attend in person or online. On-site registration is also available.



10/29/09 - Sony Recalls Computer AC Adapters Due to Shock Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Sony VAIO Computer AC Adapters

Units: About 69,000

Manufacturer: Sony Electronics Inc. of San Diego, Calif.

Hazard: Insulation inside the AC adapter can fail over time, posing an electrical shock hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Sony has received four reports of adapters short circuiting. No incidents occurred in the United States. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled AC adapter model is the Sony VGP-AC19V17, which was supplied for use with the following Sony products:

Product Types Using the AC Adapters Product Models Using the AC Adapters All-in-one VAIO Desktop Computers VGC-LT series and VGC-JS2 series VAIO Docking Stations VGP-PRBX1 and VGP-PRFE1

Sold at: The SonyStyle stores and Web site, authorized electronics retailers and authorized business- to- business dealers nationwide from September 2005 through October 2009 for between $900 and $3300 for desktop computers and $250 and $300 for docking stations.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should turn off their computer, unplug it and stop using the recalled AC adapters immediately and contact Sony to arrange for a free replacement of the affected AC adapter.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact Sony toll-free at (877) 361-4481 anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at esupport.sony.com/ac19adapter

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10027.html



10/24/09 - Coby Electronics Recalls Rechargeable Batteries Sold with Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Players Due to Fire Hazard

Coby Electronics Recalls Rechargeable Batteries Sold with Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Players Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Rechargeable batteries sold with portable DVD/CD/MP3 players

Units: About 19,600

Importer: Coby Electronics Corp., of Lake Success N.Y.

Hazard: The rechargeable batteries can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Coby Electronics has received 10 reports of batteries overheating, including eight reports of fires resulting in property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recall involves Coby DVD/CD/MP3 players with an 8 ½ inch screen and product number TF-DVD- 8501. The rechargeable batteries sold with the DVD players have serial numbers that begin with "HY." The serial number can be found on a white sticker affixed to the battery. "Coby" is printed on the front cover and the product number is on the bottom of the unit.

Sold at: Discount, electronics, music, toy, office supply stores and distributors of electronic products nationwide from January 2007 through September 2009 for between $140 and $275.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the recalled batteries from the unit and contact Coby Electronics to receive a free replacement battery. Consumers can continue to use the DVD/CD/MP3 players with AC or DC power adapters.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Coby Electronics toll-free at (877) 305-2629 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.cobyusa.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10019.html

9/2/09 - Wal-Mart Announces Recall Expansion of Durabrand DVD Players Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Durabrand DVD Players. (The August 20 recall of the silver Durabrand DVD player has been expanded to include the pink and purple-colored versions of the same DVD player.)

Units: About 4.2 million (1.5 million were previously announced)

Importer: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Ark.

Hazard: The DVD player's circuit board can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Wal-Mart has received 14 reports of DVD players overheating, seven of which have resulted in fires that caused property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves a single DVD player with a remote control. The device was sold in three colors-silver, pink and purple and has a U-shaped opening at the top to insert the DVD. The DVD players were sold under the following UPC codes and model numbers:

Silver: UPC 1799901002, Model No. 1002
Pink: UPC 1799934100, Model No. 1002 PINK
Purple: UPC 1799932100, Model No. 1002 PUR

Sold exclusively at: Wal-Mart stores nationwide from January 2006 through July 2009 for about $29.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to the nearest Wal-Mart for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Wal-Mart Stores at (800) 925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.walmartstores.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09335.html


8/21/09 - DVD Players Recalled by Wal-Mart Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Durabrand DVD Players

Units: About 1.5 Million

Importer: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Ark.

Hazard: The DVD players can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Wal-Mart has received 12 reports of DVD players overheating, five of which have resulted in fires that caused property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves a single DVD player with a remote control. The device is silver colored and has a U-shaped opening at the top to insert the DVD.

Sold exclusively at: Wal-Mart stores nationwide from January 2006 through July 2009 for about $29.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to the nearest Wal-Mart for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Wal-Mart Stores at
(800) 925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.walmartstores.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09316.html


1/19/11 - Schneider Electric Recalls Xantrex GT Series Grid Tie Solar Inverters Due to Injury Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Xantrex Grid Tie Solar Inverters

Units: About 25,000

Manufacturer: Xantrex Technology Inc. - a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, of Livermore, Calif.

Hazard: A component of the inverter can degrade, causing out gassing within the wiring compartment of the inverter. When arcing occurs, gasses could build and force the compartment cover to be blown off. If the cover is blown off with sufficient force it can injure the user or person, or cause damage to property in close proximity to the inverter.

Incidents/Injuries: Schneider Electric has received five reports of wiring compartment covers being blown off. No injuries or property damage have been reported.

Description: The recalled inverter converts solar photovoltaic voltages into utility grid voltages; allowing the owner to feed power into the electrical grid. The recalled units were manufactured between September 2005 and August 2010. These products were sold under the Xantrex, Sunpower, and General Electric brands. The brand name is printed on the front of the unit.

Affected part numbers, printed on the top of the unit, include the following:

864-0002 864-0117 864-0128 864-0139 864-1006 864-1011 864-1019
864-0107 864-0118 864-0130 864-0140 864-1006-02 864-1012 864-1021
864-0108 864-0119 864-0131 864-1001 864-1007 864-1013 864-1022
864-0111 864-0124 864-0132 864-1001-02 864-1008 864-1014 864-1032
864-0112 864-0125 864-0133 864-1002 864-1009 864-1015 864-1032-02
864-0114 864-0126 864-0135 864-1004 864-1009-02 864-1016
864-0116 864-0127 864-0136 864-1005 864-1010 864-1018

X-864-0002 X-864-0117 X-864-0128 X-864-0139 X-864-1007 X-864-1014 X-864-1032
X-864-0107 X-864-0118 X-864-0130 X-864-0140 X-864-1008 X-864-1015
X-864-0108 X-864-0119 X-864-0131 X-864-1001 X-864-1009 X-864-1016
X-864-0111 X-864-0124 X-864-0132 X-864-1002 X-864-1010 X-864-1018
X-864-0112 X-864-0125 X-864-0133 X-864-1004 X-864-1011 X-864-1019
X-864-0114 X-864-0126 X-864-0135 X-864-1005 X-864-1012 X-864-1021
X-864-0116 X-864-0127 X-864-0136 X-864-1006 X-864-1013 X-864-1022

Sold through: Solar distributors and system integrators nationwide and in Canada from September 2005 through January 2011 for between about $2,500 and $4,000.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately contact their authorized dealer to set up an appointment to get a free repair of the inverter.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact Xantrex Technology at (800) 714-7176 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11099.html

10/18/10 - FCC-ConsumerNews

Online Privacy and Security

As we rely on the Internet more frequently to conduct business and interact with others, the dangers posed by computer hackers, spyware, viruses and other malicious software become more serious. If unchecked, these dangers can threaten personal information and privacy, as well as the security of computer hardware and software. It is important that all consumers take basic steps to secure their computers and network connections.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created a new online privacy and security webpage, which can be accessed at www.fcc.gov/consumers. Once there, click on the link titled "Privacy and Online Security." This webpage provides useful information for consumers and small businesses regarding online safety and cybersecurity. Over the next several weeks, the FCC will be rolling out tip sheets, checklists, videos, screencasts, and blog postings addressing several topics, including:

- Protecting Children in the Digital Age
- Protecting Wi-Fi Networks
- Safe Internet Navigation and Transactions
- Tips for Infected Computers or Networks
- Best Practices for Small Business Cybersecurity
- Tips for Using the Internet Abroad

This webpage also contains links to other sources of information regarding online security and privacy, and we encourage you to visit it regularly to view the updates. You may also wish to bookmark www.fcc.gov/consumers, as we will continuously update the page with the latest news and information for consumers.

10/3/2013 - Schneider Electric Recalls APC Surge Protectors Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Recall Summary

Name of Product: APC SurgeArrest surge protectors

Hazard: The surge protectors can overheat, smoke and melt, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy: Replace

Consumer Contact: Schneider Electric IT Corp., toll-free at (888) 437-4007 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at http://recall.apc.com, or www.apc.com and click on the Recall link to submit a claim and obtain more information.

Photos available at
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Schneider-Electric-Recalls-APC-Surge...

Recall Details

Units: About 15 million

Description: This recall involves APC 7 and 8 series SurgeArrest surge protectors manufactured before 2003. The model and serial numbers are located on a label on the bottom of the surge protector. The two numbers that follow the first letter or letters in the serial number sequence indicate the year of manufacture. The unit is included in the recall if the numbers are 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01 or 02. APC and the words Personal, Professional, Performance or Network are printed on the surge protectors. The following model numbers are included in this recall.

7 Series model numbers 8 Series model numbers
NET7 NET8
NET7T NET8N
NET7T-C PER8T
PER7 PER8T R
PER7C PER8T R-CN
PER7T PER8TVR
PER7T-CO PER8XTV
PER7T-U PRF8T2
PER7TX137 PRF8TT
PER7-U PRO8
PER7X148 PRO8T2
PRF7 PRO8T2C
PRF7T PRO8T2MP12
PRO7 PRO8T2MP12B
PRO7C PRO8TV
PRO7T
PRO7TX183

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 700 reports of the surge protectors overheating and melting and 55 claims of property damage from smoke and fire, including $916,000 in fire damage to a home and $750,000 in fire damage to a medical facility. There are 13 reports of injuries, including smoke inhalation and contact burns from touching the overheated surge protectors.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled surge protectors, unplug them and contact Schneider Electric for a free replacement surge protector.

Sold at: Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, and other stores nationwide from January 1993 through December 2002 for between $13 and $50.

Manufacturer: American Power Conversion (APC), now known as Schneider Electric IT Corp., of West Kingston, R.I.

Manufactured in: China, Philippines

Tags_Test: 

11/30/11 - Mophie Recalls iPod Touch Rechargeable External Battery Case Due to Burn Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Rechargeable External Battery Case

Units: About 6,118

Importer: Mophie LLC, of Paw Paw, Mich.

Hazard: The battery case's integrated circuit switch can overheat, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Mophie has received 110 reports of the product becoming warm to the touch, 44 reports of the product deforming and nine reports of minor burns.

Description: The recalled product is a Mophie Juice Pack Air rechargeable external battery which consists of a lithium polymer battery built into a plastic case designed to snap onto the back of an iPod Touch 4G music player. The battery cases come in black, blue or red. Only battery cases with serial numbers that have the first five alphanumeric characters of TR113 through TR120 are subject to this recall. The serial number can be found inside the housing of the product.

Sold at: B& H Photo, Barnes & Noble, InMotion Entertainment, J&R Music World, Marine Corps Exchange stores, Amazon.com and mophie.com since April 2011 for about $50.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact Mophie for instructions on receiving a replacement product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Mophie toll-free at (877) 308-4581 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.mophie.com/exchange

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12049.html

11/30/11 - Rocketfish Battery Case for iPhone 3G/3GS Recalled by Best Buy Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Rocketfish(tm) Model RF-KL12 Mobile Battery Cases for iPhone 3G and 3GS

Units: About 31,000 in the U.S. and about 1,000 in Canada

Importer: Best Buy Co. Inc., of Richfield, Minn.

Hazard: The battery case can overheat while charging, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC and the firm have received about 14 reports of the battery cases overheating in the United States, including three reports of minor burns to consumers and four reports of minor property damage.

Description: This recall includes the Rocketfish(tm) Model RF-KL12 Mobile Battery Case. The battery case is made of black lightweight, soft-touch rubberized material designed to hold the phone securely, and comes with a built-in battery. The model number "RF-KL12" appears on the front of the product's packaging, on the packaging barcode, and in white print on the curved inner surface of the product.

Sold exclusively at: Best Buy stores nationwide, Future Shop and Best Buy stores in Canada, and online from about April 2010 through about September 2011 for between $10 and $60.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact Best Buy for instructions on returning the product and receiving a Best Buy gift card for $70 or $105 in Canada.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, consumers should contact Best Buy toll-free at (800) 917-5737 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET any day, or visit the firm's websites at www.bestbuy.com (US) or www.bestbuy.ca or www.futureshop.ca (Canada).

Note: Health Canada's press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1439

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12048.html

3/10/2011 - Sanus Elements Surge Protectors Recalled by Milestone AV Technologies Due to Shock Hazard

Manufactured by Rite-Tech Industrial Co.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2011
Release #11-158

Firm's Recall Hotline: (877) 894-6280
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Sanus Elements Surge Protectors Recalled by Milestone AV Technologies Due to Shock Hazard Manufactured by Rite-Tech Industrial Co.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Low-profile power conditioners/surge protectors

Units: About 2,500

Importer: Milestone AV Technologies LLC, of Savage, Minn.

Manufacturer: Rite-Tech Industrial Co., Ltd., of Taiwan

Hazard: Improper grounding of the case and inadequate insulation for the circuit breaker poses an electrical shock hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: This recall involves all Sanus Elements model ELM205 low-profile power conditioners or surge protectors. SANUS ELEMENTS is printed on the front of the unit and the model number is printed near the UL logo on the back.

Sold by: Independent home theater dealers from June 2009 through December 2010 for about $90.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact Milestone for a replacement product or refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Milestone toll-free at (877) 894-6280 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday, or visit the firm's website at www.milestone.com/recall

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11158.html

3/27/2014 - Lenovo Recalls Battery Packs for ThinkPad Notebook Computers Due to Fire Hazard

1. Lenovo Recalls Battery Packs for ThinkPad Notebook Computers Due to Fire Hazard
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Lenovo-Recalls-Battery-Packs-for-Thi... *****************************************************************************************
1.
Recall Date: March 27, 2014
Recall Number: 14-142
Lenovo Recalls Battery Packs for ThinkPad Notebook Computers Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Recall Summary

Name of Product: ThinkPad notebook computer battery packs

Hazard: The battery packs can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy: Replace

Consumer Contact: Lenovo at (800) 426-7378 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.lenovo.com and select Support at the top of the page, then click on the link to the recall page in the News and Alerts section at the bottom right of the page for more information.

Photos available at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Lenovo-Recalls-Battery-Packs-for-Thi...

Recall Details

Units: About 34,500 in the United States and 2,900 in Canada

Description: This recall involves Lenovo battery packs sold with the following ThinkPad notebook computers: the Edge 11, 13 and 14 series, the T410, T420, T510 and W510 series, and the X100e, X120e, X200, X201 and X201s series. The battery packs were also sold separately. The black battery packs measure between 8 to 11 inches long, 1 to 3 inches wide and about 1 inch high. Recalled battery packs have one of the following part numbers starting with the fourth digit in a long series of numbers and letters printed on a white sticker below the bar code on the battery pack: 42T4695, 42T4711, 42T4798, 42T4804, 42T4812, 42T4822, 42T4828, 42T4834, 42T4840 and 42T4890.

Incidents/Injuries: Lenovo has received two reports of the battery packs overheating, resulting in damage to the computer, battery pack and nearby property. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately turn off their ThinkPad notebook computer, remove the battery pack and contact Lenovo for a free replacement battery pack. Consumers can continue to use their ThinkPad notebook without the battery pack by plugging in the AC adapter and power cord.

Sold at: Computer and electronics stores, authorized dealers and online at www.lenovo.com nationwide from October 2010 through April 2011 for between $350 and $3,000 when sold as part of ThinkPad notebook computers. The battery packs were also sold separately for between $80 and $150.

Importer: Lenovo Inc., of Morrisville, N.C.

Manufactured in: China

5/11/2011 - Telstar Recalls Energy-Saving Light Bulbs Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Light Bulbs

Units: About 317,000

Manufacturer: Telstar Products d/b/a Sprint International Inc., of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hazard: The light bulbs can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Telstar Products has received two reports of fires. In one incident, the fire was contained to the light fixture. The other reported incident resulted in a residential fire.

Description: This recall involves energy-saving light bulbs sold under the Telstar and Electra brand names. The bulbs were sold in two styles: spiral and the "3-Us" shape. The Telstar bulbs were sold in 20 and 23 watts with model number LB-1020 and LB-1023 printed on the packaging. The Electra bulbs were sold in 18, 20, 23, 26, 28, 30, 34, 36, 38 and 40 watts with model numbers LB-18, LB-20, LB-23, LB-26, LB-28, LB-30, LB-1018, LB-1020, LB-1023, LB-1026, LB-1134, LB-1136, LB-1138 and LB-1140 printed on the packaging. "CE 110V," "China" and the wattage number are printed on the bulb.

Sold at: Discount stores throughout New York and New Jersey from August 2010 through March 2011 for between $1 and $1.50

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the light bulbs and return it to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Telstar Products toll-free at (888) 828-1680 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at www.telstarpro.com

5/28/11 - HP Expands Recall of Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

Consumers urged to recheck notebook models and batteries

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Lithium-ion batteries used in HP and Compaq notebook computers

Units: About 162,600 additional batteries (54,000 and 70,000 batteries were previously recalled in May 2010 and May 2009, respectively)

Importer: Hewlett-Packard Company, of Palo Alto, Calif.

Hazard: The recalled lithium-ion batteries can overheat and rupture, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Since the May 2010 recall expansion, HP has received 40 additional reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured, resulting in seven burn injuries, one smoke inhalation injury, and 36 instances of property damage.

Description: The recalled lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are used with various model series of HP and Compaq notebook computers and include batteries that consumers were informed were not included in previous recalls. The chart below includes all notebook model numbers associated with batteries recalled to date. The computer model number is located at the top of the service label on the bottom of the notebook computer. Not all batteries matching the bar codes are being recalled.

Notebook Model Number | Battery Bar Codes (^ in the code can be any letter or number)

HP Pavilion dv2000, dv2500, dv2700, dv6000, dv6500, dv6700,dx6000, dx6500, dx6700 | 62940^^AXV^^^^, 65035^^B7U^^^^, 65035^^B7V^^^^, 65035^^BGU^^^^, 65035^^BGV^^^^

HP Pavilion dv9000, dv9500, dv9700 | 65033^^B7U^^^^, 65033^^B7V^^^^, 65033^^BGU^^^^, 65033^^BGV^^^^

Compaq Presario A900, C700, F500, F700, V3000, V3500, V3700, V6000, V6500, V6700 | 62940^^AXV^^^^, 65035^^B7U^^^^, 65035^^B7V^^^^, 65035^^BGU^^^^, 65035^^BGV^^^^

HP G6000, G7000 | 62940^^AXV^^^^, 65035^^B7U^^^^, 65035^^B7V^^^^, 65035^^BGU^^^^, 65035^^BGV^^^^

HP Compaq 6510b, 6515b, 6710b, 6710s, 6715b, 6715s | 65000^^B5V^^^^

HP Compaq 6520s | 67150^^AXU^^^^, 67150^^AXV^^^^

HP Compaq 6720s | 67059^^V8U^^^^, 67059^^V8V^^^^

Sold at: Computer and electronics stores nationwide, hp.com and hpshopping.com from July 2007 through July 2008 for between $500 and $3,000. The battery packs were also sold separately for between $100 and $160.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the batteries from their notebook computer and contact HP to determine if their battery is included in this recall. Consumers who had previously checked their batteries and were informed they were not included in previous announcements are urged to check again. Consumers with recalled batteries will receive a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, visit the HP Battery Replacement Program website at www.hp.com/support/BatteryReplacement or call (888) 202-4320 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11234.html

7/1/10 - Sony Recalls VAIO Laptop Computers Due to Burn Hazard

ASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Notebook computers

Units: About 233,000

Manufacturer: Sony Electronics Inc. of San Diego, Calif.

Hazard: The computers can overheat, posing a burn hazard to the consumer.

Incidents/Injuries: Sony has received 30 reports of units overheating resulting in deformed keyboards and casings. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled products are VPCF11 Series and VPCCW2 Series notebook computers. The computers are available in many colors and have "VAIO" on the front outside panel. The model numbers can be found on the bottom of the computers.

The following models are included:

VPCF11 Series

VPCF111FD/B VPCF111FX/B VPCF111FX/H VPCF112FX/B VPCF112FX/H
VPCF113FX/B VPCF113FX/H VPCF114FX/B VPCF114FX/H VPCF115FM/B
VPCF115FM/BL VPCF116FX/B VPCF116FX/H VPCF117FX/B VPCF117FX/B
VPCF117FX/H VPCF11AFX/B VPCF11BFX/B VPCF11CGX/B VPCF11DGX/B
VPCF11EGX/B VPCF11FGX/B VPC11GGX/B VPCF11HGX/B VPCF11JFX/B
VPCF11KFX/H VPCF11LFX/B VPCF11MFX/B VPCF11NFX/B VPCF11PFX/H
VPCF11QFX/B VPCF11QFX/H

VPCCW2 Series

VPCCW21FX/B VPCCW21FX/P VPCCW21FX/R VPCCW21FFX/W VPCCW22FX/B
VPCCW22FX/L VPCCW22FX/P VPCCW22FX/R VPCCW22FX/W VPCCW23FX/B
VPCCW23FX/L VPCCW23FX/P VPCCW23FX/R VPCCW23FX/W VPCCW26FX/B
VPCCW26FX/L VPCCW26FX/P VPCCW26FX/R VPCCW27FX/B VPCCW27FX/L
VPCCW27FX/P VPCCW27FX/R VPCCW27FX/W VPCCW28FJ/W VPCCW2AFX/B
VPCCW2BFX/B VPCCW2CGX/B VPCCW2DGX/B VPCCW2EGX/B VPCCW2FGX/B
VPCCW2GGX/B VPCCW2HGX/B VPCCW2JGX/B VPCCW2KGX/B VPCCW2LFX/B
VPCCW2LFX/L VPCCW2LFX/P VPCCW2LFX/R VPCCW2LFX/W VPCCW2MFX/PU
VPCCW2MFX/WJ VPCCW2MGX/B VPCCW2NFX/LU VPCCW2PFX/L VPCCW2PFX/R
VPCCW2FX/W VPCCW2QGX/B VPCCWERGX/B VPCCW2SGX/B VPCCW2TGX/B
VPCCW2UFX/B VPCCW2VFX/B

Sold at: Best Buy, Costco, Frys, Amazon.com and Sony Style retail stores and sonystyle.com as well as other electronics retailers and business suppliers nationwide. The recalled computers were shipped to consumers and resellers between January 2010 and April 2010. They sold for between $800 and $1,500.

Manufactured in: China and the United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately go to http://esupport.sony.com/US/f1cw2update for instructions on how to update the computer's BIOS firmware. Consumers can also call Sony or visit Sony Style retail stores nationwide for help with installing the update. This firmware will prevent the computer from overheating. The firmware update will also be available through the VAIO Update software program installed on the recalled computers. A prompt will appear when users log on.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, please contact Sony toll-free any time at (866) 496-7669 or visit the firm's website at http://esupport.sony.com/US/f1cw2update

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10284.html

8/19/10 - Electrical Wire Recalled by Cerro Wire due to Fire Hazard

Electrical Wire Recalled by Cerro Wire due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: THHN Electrical Wire

Units: About 1,000

Manufacturer: Cerro Wire Inc., of Crothersville, Ind.

Hazard: While the actual electrical wire has "14 gauge" printed on it, the packaging incorrectly labels the electrical wire as 12 gauge. If used as a 12 gauge wire, it can overload, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves THNN electrical wire labeled on its packaging as 12 gauge solid white 100' UPC 48243982721 and 12 gauge stranded red 50' UPC 48243229215. The actual wire has "THHN Cerro Wire 14 gauge" printed on it. The UPC number and 12 gauge is found on the plastic wrap and on a label at the bottom of the reel.

Sold at: Home Depot & Menards stores in the following states: Colo., Iowa, Idaho, Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., N.D., Neb., Ohio, Ore., Pa., S.D., Utah, Wash., Wis., Wyo. from December 2009 through April 2010. The 50-foot wire spools were sold for $9 and the 100-foot spools for about $16.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using any switches, outlets or electrical devices using this wire and contact Cerro Wire for instructions on returning the product for a refund. Any contractor or subcontractor who used this wire should inspect their work to see that their work meets local electrical wiring code.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Cerro Wire toll-free at (866) 572-3776 ext. 269 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.cerrowire.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10319.html

8/21/09 - Amplifiers Recalled by Krell Industries Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Amplifiers

Units: About 2,300

Distributor: Krell Industries LLC, of Orange, Conn.

Hazard: The amplifiers were designed to operate at a temperature warm to the touch. However, a component input device can fail and cause the amplifiers to overheat, posing burn and fire hazards to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Krell has received 50 reports of the amplifiers overheating including reports of smoke and electrical fire. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Krell power amplifiers with model numbers KAV-250a, KAV-250a/3, KAV-500i and KAV-1500. The amplifiers are used to provide power to a loudspeaker in a home audio playback system. The Krell logo is printed on the front of the amplifier.

Sold by: Authorized dealers and distributors of audio equipment nationwide from January 1997 through February 2001 for between $3,000 and $8,000.

Manufactured in: USA

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the amplifiers, and contact Krell to schedule the free installation of replacement fuses.

Consumer Contact: For additional information contact Krell at (888) 436-6055 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.krellonline.com. Consumers can also email the firm at service@krellonline.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09312.html


9/1/2010 - 32-Inch Sharp LCD-TVs Recalled Due to Risk of Injury

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2010
Release #10-329

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 291-4289
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

32-Inch Sharp LCD-TVs Recalled Due to Risk of Injury

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Sharp 32-inch LCD-TVs

Units: About 9,000

Manufacturer: Sharp Electronics Corporation, of Mahwah, N.J.

Hazard: The TV stand's neck support can break and cause the TV to tip-over, posing a risk of injury to the consumer.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Sharp 32-inch LCD-TVs with model number LC-32SB28UT. The model number, serial number and manufacture dates of March 2010 through April 2010, are printed on a label on the back of the unit. Serial numbers included in the recall are:

Serial Number Range
0028 32837 through 0028 35190
0048 57501 through 0048 59020
0048 61401 through 0048 64020
0048 72001 through 0048 78800

No other model or serial number is included in this recall.

Sold by: Major retail stores nationwide from March 2010 through August 2010 for about $550.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately contact Sharp to arrange for a free replacement stand neck support.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Sharp at (800) 291-4289 anytime, or visit the firm's website at www.sharpusa.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10329.html

9/4/10 - Toshiba Recalls T Series Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard

Toshiba Recalls T Series Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite ProT130 Notebook Computers

Units: About 41,000 worldwide

Manufacturer: Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., of Irvine, Calif.

Hazard: The notebook computers can overheat at the notebook's plug-in to the AC adapter, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Toshiba has received 129 reports of the notebook computers overheating and deforming the plastic casing area around the AC adapter plug, including two reports of minor burn injuries that did not require medical attention and two reports of minor property damage.

Description: This recall involves certain Toshiba Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite Pro T130 notebook computer models. "Toshiba" is printed on the top of the notebook computer. The model name and number are printed on a label on the bottom of the notebook computers.

Sold at: Electronics stores and other retailers nationwide and online, including at Toshibadirect.com and other websites, from August 2009 through August 2010 for between $600 and $800.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately download the latest version of Toshiba's BIOS computer program to their notebook computer at http://laptops.toshiba.com/about/consumer-notices. This new computer program will detect whether the notebook computer is overheating, and if so, disable the notebook computer's external power and display a message directing the consumer to contact Toshiba for a free repair. Consumers who do not have Internet access should contact Toshiba to arrange for installation of the updated BIOS.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Toshiba at (800) 457-7777 anytime or visit the firm's website at http://laptops.toshiba.com/about/consumer-notices

Note: Health Canada's press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1157

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10330.html

8/13/08 - Homelite, Husky and Black Max Generators Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

Sold Exclusively at Home Depot and Sam's Club Stores

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
Name of Product: Homelite, Husky and Black Max Brand Generators

Units: About 51,750

Distributor: Homelite Consumer Products Inc., of Anderson, S.C.

Hazard: The fuel gauge can leak excessive amounts of gasoline, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Homelite and Husky brand generators sold exclusively at Home Depot stores and Black Max brand generators sold exclusively at Sam's Club stores. Affected generators include Homelite models HG3500, HG3510, HG5700 and HG5700R, Husky models HU3650, HUCA5700 and HUCA7000 and Black Max models BM10700A, BM10700B, BM10711A, BM10700DG, BM10700R, BM10700BR & BM10722G. Generators included in this recall have manufacturing date codes between BML306-BMM151, CHL122-CHM151 and CRL153-CRM059. The model number and manufacturing date code are included on the data label located on the top or side of the generator engine. Products with a green "dot" on the outside of the package or a "silver dot" on the fuel gauge face are not included in the recall.

Sold exclusively at: Home Depot and Sam's Club stores nationwide from July 2008 through May 2009 for between $480 and $1,600.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using their generator and contact Homelite Consumer Products Inc. (Homelite and Husky brands only) or Black Max (Black Max brands only) for a free repair kit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information regarding Homelite or Husky brand generators, contact Homelite Consumer Products, Inc. at (800) 242-4672 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit www.homelite.com. For additional information regarding Black Max brand generators, contact Black Max at (800) 726-5760 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visiting www.blackmaxtools.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09305.html


8/11/09 - Wii(tm) Battery Recharge Stations Recalled by Griffin International Due to Burn and Fire Hazards

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Psyclone Essentials and React Wii(tm) 4-Dock Battery Recharge Stations

Units: About 220,000

Distributor: Griffin International Cos., Inc., of Minneapolis, Minn.

Hazard: The battery pack can overheat, posing a burn or fire hazard to the consumer.

Incidents/Injuries: Six incidents of overheating have been reported to the firm. Two consumers reported minor burns to the hand.

Description: The Wii 4-Dock Recharge Station includes a white docking station with four recharge stations and a four rechargeable battery pack. Brand names are on the front of the packaging and the model numbers, Psyclone (PSE6501) and React (RT530), can be found on the bottom side of the product.

Sold at: The Psyclone Essentials brand was sold at Target, Toys R Us and Amazon.com nationwide; React was sold at Best Buy stores nationwide. Both were sold from January 2008 through July 2009 for about $50.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these recharge stations and contact Griffin International to obtain information on how to return the product and receive a free replacement.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Griffin International toll free at 888-344-4702 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday-Friday, email productsafety@psyclonegamer.com or visit this Web site www.psyclonegamer.com/Wii4Dock


6/17/09 - Wagner Spray Tech Recalls Heat Guns Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

Since I have seen these used to shrink heat shrinkable tubing for weather proofing wiring and coax, I'm posting the alert just released....
ASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Heat Guns

Units: About 300,000

Manufacturer: Wagner Spray Tech Corp., of Minneapolis, Minn.

Hazard: An electrical component failure inside the heat guns can cause them to continue to produce heat after the power switch is turned off. This can melt the heat gun's plastic exterior, causing a burn if the heat gun is touched and ignite nearby combustibles, posing fire and burn hazards.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received nine reports of the heat guns overheating. No injuries or property damage have been reported.

Description: The recalled heat guns emit hot air and are used for paint and flooring removal, defrosting freezers and water lines, bending plastic, hobbies, etc. Recalled models include the Milwaukee Heat Gun MHT3300, ACE HT3500 Heat Gun, and the Wagner Heat Gun HT3500. The heat gun's name and model number are located on a black label on the bottom of the heat gun's barrel. The heat guns are black or yellow plastic and measure about 10 inches long, 8 inches high and 3 inches wide.

Sold at: Major and independent hardware and home improvement stores nationwide from November 2004 through April 2009 for about $40.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled heat guns and contact Wagner for a free replacement product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Wagner toll-free at (888) 925-6244 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.wagnerspraytech.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09243.html

5/15/09 - Digital Clamp Meters Recalled by Fluke Due to Shock Hazard

Many of us electronics hobbyists use Fluke equipment of one form or another. I'm attaching the latest recall from Fluke

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Fluke Digital Clamp Meters

Units: About 52,000

Manufacturer: Fluke Corp., of Everett, Wash.

Hazard: The meters can fail to give an appropriate voltage reading, resulting in the operator falsely believing the electrical power is off, posing a shock, electrocution, or thermal burn hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Fluke has received three reports of clamp meters displaying an incorrect voltage reading. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Fluke Digital Clamp Meters with model and serial numbers listed below. The model number may be followed by an "A."

Model No. Starting With
Serial No. Starting with
Serial No. Ending In

333:
97010000
98880240

334:
97010000
98870101

335:
97010000
98860104

336:
96220000
98900400

337:
96070000
98890607

Serial numbers that begin with "S" or are followed by "R" are not included in the recall. "Fluke" and the model number are printed on the front of the unit and the serial number on the back. The instrument body is yellow, red, and black. The clamp meters measure 0 to 600 volts alternating current (VAC), 0 to 600 volts direct current (VDC) and 0 to 400, 600 or 1000 amps alternating current.

Sold at: Industrial distributors, electrical wholesalers and some hardware stores nationwide from January 2008 through February 2009 for between $150 and $375.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using these recalled Digital Clamp Meters immediately and contact Fluke for a free replacement clamp meter.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Fluke toll-free at (888) 983-5853 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.fluke.com/33Xrecall

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recall product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09222.html

5/14/09 - HP Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

This is another recall for Laptop Batteries...

EWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2009
Release # 09-221

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 889-2031
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

HP Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Lithium-Ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computers

Units: About 70,000

Importer: Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif.

Hazard: The recalled lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm and CPSC are aware of two reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured, resulting in flames/fire that caused minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are used with various HP and Compaq notebook computers. Models that can contain a recalled battery include:

HP Pavilion
dv2000
dv2500
dv2700
dv6000
dv6500
dv6700
dv9000
dv9500
dv9700

Compaq Presario
A900
C700
F700
V3000
V3500
V3700
V6000
V6500
V6700

HP
G6000
G7000

HP Compaq
6720s

The notebook model is located at the top of the service label on the bottom of the notebook. Batteries that can be subject to the recall will have one of the following bar code labels (^ in the code can be any letter or number):

62940^^AXV^^^^
65033^^B7U^^^^
65033^^B7V^^^^
65033^^BGU^^^^
65035^^B7U^^^^
65035^^B7V^^^^
65035^^BGU^^^^
65035^^BGV^^^^
67059^^V8U^^^^
67059^^V8V^^^^

Sold at: Computer and electronics stores nationwide, hp.com and hpshopping.com from August 2007 through March 2008 for between $500 and $3000. The battery packs were also sold separately for between $100 and $160.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the recalled battery from their notebook computer and contact HP to determine if their battery is included in the recall and to request a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives. Consumers should only use batteries obtained from HP or an authorized reseller.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, visit the HP Battery Replacement Program Web site at http://www.hp.com/support/BatteryReplacement or call (800) 889-2031 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

Media Contact: Sheila Watson at (281) 514-6552 or sheila.watson@hp.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recall product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09221.html



4/3/09 - Radio Shack Recall of Switches

4.  Faulty Installation Instructions Prompt RadioShack Corp. Recall of Electrical Switches; Shock Hazard to Consumers

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2009
Release #09-180

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 843-7422
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Faulty Installation Instructions Prompt RadioShack Corp. Recall of Electrical Switches; Shock Hazard to Consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Illuminated Round Rocker Switches

Units: About 18,000

Importer: RadioShack Corp., of Fort Worth, Texas

Hazard: The wiring diagram on the switch's package is incorrect. The Neutral and Line notation is reversed, posing a shock hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves the RadioShack Illuminated Round Rocker Switch, catalog number 275-0021 and a date code of 01P09, or January 2009, and earlier. The switches are used as replacement on/off switches for electronics or for use in hobby projects. The wiring diagram, the catalog number, and manufacturing dates are located on the back of the product's packaging. In the date code MMPYY, MM is the month and YY is the year.

Sold at: RadioShack stores nationwide and online at www.radioshack.com from June 2008 through January 2009 for about $4.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the switch and check their installation to make sure the Line or Hot conductor is connected to the switch rather than following the original instructions on the back of the package. A corrected wiring diagram is shown below. New wiring instructions are available at www.radioshack.com/recalls (Microsoft Word Document), or by contacting Radio Shack.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact RadioShack at (800) 843-7422 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.radioshack.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recall product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09180.html

2/19/09 - FCC-ConsumerNews

Newly Revised DTV Website and new DTV Publications

The FCC has a newly revised DTV website.  Go to www.dtv.gov to learn about DTV, check the status of your coupon application, and find helpful publications such as a troubleshooting guide that provides a converter box hook-up checklist and a guide that offers tips on the reception of digital signals.  The newly revised website also offers DTV reception maps for your neighborhood.

 

We also have 3 new publications relating to the DTV transition.  Please take a moment to review by clicking on the following links:

 
 
--Use Care When Calling About the DTV Transition  http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/usecarewhencalling.pdf
 
--Remember to Rescan  http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/rescan.pdf 
 
--Antennas & Digital TV  http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/dtvantennas.pdf  

2/13/09 - FCC-ConsumerNews

DTV Delay Act

Congress recently passed the DTV Delay Act, which extends the deadline for full-power broadcast TV stations to complete the DTV transition from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009. To view the DTV factsheet about the delay, go to http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/dtvdelay.pdf

10/31/08 - Laptop Battery Recall

PC Notebook Computer Batteries Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazard

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2008
Release #09-035

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: Ed Kang, (301) 504-7908

PC Notebook Computer Batteries Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firms named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Lithium-Ion Batteries used in Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Dell Notebook Computers

Units: About 35,000 batteries (an additional 65,000 batteries were sold worldwide)

Battery Cell Manufacturer: Sony Energy Devices Corporation, of Japan

Hazard: These lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: There have been 19 reports of the batteries overheating, including 17 reports of flames/fire (10 resulting in minor property damage). Two consumers experienced minor burns.

Description: The recalled batteries were included with, and sold separately for use in, the following notebook computer models:

Computer Manufacturer: Units
(Notebook Model)
== Battery Model ==

Hewlett-Packard: About 32,000
(HP Pavilion: dv1000, dv8000 and zd8000)
(Compaq Presario: v2000 and v2400)
(HP Compaq: nc6110, nc6120, nc6140, nc6220, nc6230, nx4800, nx4820, nx6110, nx6120, nx9600)
== Recalled batteries will have a bar code label starting with A0, L0, L1 or GC ==

Toshiba: About 3,000
(Satellite: A70/A75, P30/P5, M30X/M35X, M50/M55)
(Tecra: A3, A5, S2)
== n/a ==

Dell: About 150
(Latitude: 110L)
(Inspiron: 1100, 1150, 5100, 5150, 5160)
== OU091 ==

The battery model is located on the battery's label.

Sold by: Computers with the recalled batteries were sold directly by Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Dell, through computer and electronics stores nationwide, and through various Web retailers for between $700 and $3000. The batteries were also sold separately for between $100 and $160.

Hewlett-Packard - sold from December 2004 through June 2006

Toshiba - sold from April 2005 to October 2005

Dell - shipped between November 2004 and November 2005

Battery Cells Manufactured in: Japan

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the recalled battery from their notebook computer, and contact their computer manufacturer to determine if their battery is included in the recall and to request a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives. Consumers should only use batteries obtained from their computer manufacturer or an authorized reseller.

Consumer Contacts: For additional information, consumers should contact the manufacturer of their notebook computer:

Hewlett-Packard Co. - http://www.hp.com/support/BatteryReplacement or call (800) 889-2031 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

Toshiba - http://www.bxinfo.toshiba.com or call (800) 457-7777 anytime.

Dell - http://www.dellbatteryprogram.com or call toll-free (866) 342-0011 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

Media Contacts:

Hewlett-Packard Co. - Mike Hockey at (281) 927-9379 or mike.hockey@hp.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Toshiba - Eric Paulsen at (949) 275-7957

Dell - Jeremy Bolen at (512) 728-8329 or Jeremy_Bolen@dell.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sony - Elizabeth Boukis at (408) 352-4593 or Elizabeth.boukis@am.sony.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09035.html

********************************************************

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $800 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

Web Site Announcements

Disclaimer:

The consumer alerts provided here are for expanding the amateur radio and communications hobby experience. They are offered as a free non-commercial service. If you have a recommendation to be added, please contact the website administrator (Callsign at arrl.net).



1/24/10 - New Pages Added

More Toys! sometimes I feel like a kid in a candy shop. Nothing like playing with toys!

In this case I have added DX Spot data from DX Sumit DX Cluster. That is the toy. The second item is covering the impacts of Cellphone Laws towards amateur radio usage in a moving vehicle.

What drove me (pun intended) to compiling this information was the release of British Columbia's recent law on 1/1/2010. I learned that as a FCC licensed ham operator, I wasn't covered by the law and could be issued a citation while operating in a moving vehicle in that province.

So my thoughts are to be forewarned thus forearmed. Not to mention that this can give purpose to this website!

Woohoo!!!! A mission!!

Both new pages are still under construction as I have a "TON" of reading to do. I'm abount 50% complete for the United States and also have started on the Canadian Laws. When you get a chance, take a look. It can be an eye opener!

***Cellphone Laws...***

and

***DX Spots...***



11/25/09 - Website Improvements

It is amazing what one can do when you get a couple of days off from work!

I have started to improve of the sites feel and look as part of a continuing effort to keep things interesting. After looking around I have pretty much settled on the usage of two themes. Unlike the last 10 months, I have made the light theme as the default instead of the dark. I have had some input to the effect that this is easier on the eyes to view. The dark theme is still in place but only as a user selection for those who have an account.

I have improved on function with the addition of animated drop down menus to select the different links on this site. This friendly approach is in alignment with today's standard site designs. Also, by having it easier to navigate, I have been able to remove the hard links in the left column to allow for easier viewing of the events calendar.

Another change is the rotating banner at the top of the pages. Now in most sites, this is used for drive by commercial ads which may or may not reflect well on the site owner or the users. I'm using this technology to allow for a freshened look which is easily updated without impact to the rest of the site fit, form or function. I'll be working with localized images to include on the rotating banner to give this site an original flavor.

I took the time to change the APRS maps back to standard displays to speed up the loading of the pages. The AIS pages were left in the satellite view as this is a little more interesting for tracking marine vessels in our local water ways.

Speaking of interesting.... Did I mention that I have added in the local and semi local amateur radio related events in the calendar. This gives you a heads up on upcoming events to plan for. After all, we all know that this is way more important than cleaning gutters, cutting grass, working..... And those endless "Honey Do's"!

Last but not least is that I have updated the amateur radio statistics numbers to 2009. Now I have to admit that I was going to leave the old in place as they were a bit stronger then what we have today. Genericly speaking, the USA numbers are slowly starting to shrink. This is a reflection of this being an old man's hobby with the view of little to no relevance to the real world. The ARRL is finally coming on board in their global communication through the official website giving a fresh look that may capture the younger generations attention. Without it and other means to communicate with the generation "X" and "Y" groups, we will see this fade even further.

6/24/09 - Website Updates...

This has been really Cool!

If you hadn't noticed, this site is continuing to grow. I was wondering what I should do with the site. I was trying to give it a mission in support of the communications hobby. But with my perception of this site lacking an identity, I have given it the personality which is attracting new people.

Yesterday, the site passed a new milestone. Scott (N7SS) posted the first comment on the site. Now to most out here on the Internet, this isn't something special. But to me, it shows that others are wanting to have a voice too. And to me, that is what communications is all about!

I started to do some site cleanup and re-organization. With the collection of articles growing and the potential for members to comment, I thought it would be better served to have things broken out better.

So as you read the articles and information presented here, you have an opportunity to make comment or expand on those thoughts. All you need is to register on this site. Don't forget that your user ID will be your callsign. I will verify your account to keep the unwanted spam off this site.

Happy surfing!



5/31/09 - Some Additions added to the Site.

As with ay web site, one has to keep it up to speed.

As I get inputs from users around the world in addition to my own web browsing, there are some nice little trinkets that can be easily added. Towards the bottom of the "Ionospheric Propagation Maps" page, I have added in a couple of indicators from the DXrobot and MMMonVHF websites. These give quick indications to propagation conditions in reference to aurora and E-Skip conditions.

My thought is not to recreate the cool items on the world wide web but to have them conveniently located on a single site for users to easily reference.

In additional to the above, I am working on a DX Spot page. I have a working model in place but am having issues with it's "look" under this site CSS template. So in street talk... It looks like *&^$&^$)!!!

Oh..... That reminds me! Did you know that I have multiple templates enabled for a "Logged In User"? This is to allow you change the look of this site under your profile. A good example is that you can view this site with a white background for those having troubles with the dark themes. This is a feature added for your improved user experience.

Well, I better stop rambling on (Like we hams ever do that!). Till next time, best of 73 and good DX.



5/17/09 - The New KG7HQ Site Calendar

I have been waffling on doing this for quite some time.
After chatting with different individuals who visit this site, I have decided to add in a calendar function to the site. I have started with the major ARRL listed events for Washington State to start with. Now it's time to p5/17/09 - The New KG7HQ Site Calendar put forth the question to what you what as the end user.
How often do you get offered to help shape a website content? Most of us get suck with what someone else wants instead of what is really needed. So here is your chance!
Drop me a line on your thoughts for additions.

4/29/09 - Website Mention on the K7RA Solar Update

With an input from site member K7IP (Doug), K7RA had mention this site for the Ionospheric Propagation Maps.
K7RA provides great information about Solar activities on the ARRL Website. This serves as a great resource to understanding how the sun plays a major role on our propagation. See the information at http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/24/10783/

4/16/09- Looking Global with Twitter

Practising what we preach.

In my articles posted on 4/4/09, I criticize hobby related clubs and organizations about promoting themselves as the "old timers" club. This serious lack of interest to honestly place effort towards communicating with the younger generations.

It is very easy to cast stones here on the internet while sitting behind a computing screen where no one can see or touch you. So, it is "my" turn to start forward with this concept.

So.... What is twitter? To a young person... Generation "X" and "Y", this is a easy communications tool that spans across the world. from the twitter.com site itself... "Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates from friends."

So it starts. Lets see if there are young people that would be interested in moving beyond the computers and into radio.

4/4/09 - A change in look and feel.... The new Site

Information on the kg7hq.wetnet.net site upgrade....

Hello,

All good things can be improved on. This goes for the KG7HQ website. Like my host, wetnet.net, I'm going through several upgrades on this site. As I move forward with it, you will notice the changes in look and feel. There is an increased potential for you as the end user as these new items come on line.

One of these improvements is the addition of the interactive APRS pages. This allows for you to not only see activity in a specific area, but also to drag, zoom and gain additional information. If there is an additional area in the Pacific Northwest you would like to see posted, please drop me a line.

Another item added is a ionospheric map page to show current propagation and aurora maps focusing on North America. This and other information I'm gathering will provide an enhanced experience for the users of this website.

All the hyper-links have been moved and verified off the old site onto this one. With this, I have added many additional links in support of the communications hobby.

As I get a handle on things, you will also be able to submit items of interest for posting and comments by others. This will only be enabled for verified registered individuals on this new site design. Your old registration has been deleted to help on a more secured system. I will verify each and every individual to prevent attempts on unauthorized spamming or hacking.

Best of 73's

Michael - KG7HQ