March 2020 Newsletter



This Months News

Presidents Corner March 2020

Jeff Darby - KS0JD

It is now spring but it is a much different spring then we have ever had. I am sorry to say due to the ongoing issues with the corona virus the club has suspended our Saturday morning breakfast as well as our monthly meeting until the pandemic ends.


During this time of social distancing the ham hobby can help you stay connected. It might be a good time to work a few of the nets that take place all the time. Many people are staying home all over the world, you might be able to add some countries to you contact count. If that doesn't fit into your plans you might even be able to work on that project that has been sitting there waiting for you, study for the next level of license, or maybe even learn CW.

Plans for field day are still being made. There will probably be on-air nets to do planning. Visit the club website often to look for any on-air events.

March 2020 Meeting Notes

Marty - KE0PEZ

snoppy typing


The President, Jeff Darby KS0JD, called the meeting to order in the Market Grill at ~7:30 AM. Attendees introduced themselves by name and call-sign. Attendance count was 21 members and 1 guest.


Marty Peters, KE0PEZ, was absent on account of fever symptoms, but he submitted a report of receipts ($60) and disbursements ($230.87) for the month of February. The two disbursements were to give $100 to the Salvation Army and to buy a 30A power supply for the IC-7300. The financial condition of the club continues to be good.

2020 Ham Class--Extra [Jim Andera – K0NK]

The annual ham class at the Salvation Army facility has concluded.  All the classes were well attended, usually 14 to 16 students. A test session was held on the last day of the class.  5 of the 7 students that took the test passed their extra class test.  Students who did not test this session will be testing later this year.  Special thanks to all the instructors that took their time to give the class.  The instructors were Jeff Darby KS0JD, Larry Hall KD0RIU, George McCarville WB0CNK, Jim Andera K0NK, and Greg Wolfe KI0KK.

Repeater Relocation [Jim Andera – K0NK]

There is no update on the repeater status.  Jim sent an additional email to the emergency preparedness coordinator contact.  It is assumed that with the other issues this month this is not a high priority for OMC.  We will continue to reach out to them.

Club Newsletter [Greg Wolfe – KI0KK]

Newsletter inputs are due by 7PM Wednesday, March 18.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Operations [Jim Andera - K0NK]

Over the past few years we have had good success with special events at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.  We plan to have another event this year.  It will be both a special event as well as a Parks-on-the-Air (POTA) event.  The event will be held Saturday May 16th, 2020, from 10AM to 3PM.  Specifics on departure and return times will be discussed at a later time.

2020 Field Day Activities [Jim Andera - K0NK]

The Field day for 2020 will be held June 27th and 28th.  The current coordinators will be Larry Hall KD0RIU, George McCarville WB0CNK, Tom Apalenek WA2IVD and Jim Andera K0NK,





A motion to adjourn was passed unanimously at ~7:43 AM.

Winter Dreams

Rick Nichols

Winter Dreams

 “Marshall Ensor has a new loud sounding horn which when attached to his radio the Kansas City concerts can be heard for over half a mile away.”

We know from this little item that appeared in the Nov. 23, 1922, issue of The Olathe Mirror that Marshall Ensor, W9BSP, probably had a peripheral interest in music at the very least, which begs the question: what sort of music might he have listened to when the farm chores were done and the next day's lessons at Olathe High School had been planned? Was he into jazz and the up-tempo music of the Roaring '20s? Could he have enjoyed hearing African American men with guitars and deep voices sing the blues again and again during the Great Depression? Or did he prefer classical music ... Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, or perhaps Tschaikowsky's First Symphony, which was written in 1866 and carried the subtitle "Winter Dreams"?

In the photograph that accompanies this story, the familiar Ensor home at 18995 W. 183rd Street is pictured as one would see it in looking to the south from the street. The photograph was taken Feb. 15, three days after a few inches of snow fell in these parts just ahead of an arctic blast from Canada that sent the temperature down into the single digits for a day or so.

We also know from the website and from this little item that appeared in, of all papers, The Council Grove Republican, on Nov. 21, 1941, that Marshall had some time on his hands in the early 1940s for dreaming, thinking and planning because he was laid up and couldn't work, either on the farm or at the school.

"Marshall Ensor, an Olathe high school teacher, fell 22 feet from the gym ceiling this week fracturing his pelvis and receiving a skull fracture." This accident, which happened just after Marshall had installed a new antenna for the amateur radio station at the school (W9UA), sidelined him for eight weeks. And he wasn't even a month into his recovery when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, pulling the United States into World War II and bringing all amateur radio activity from coast to coast to a sudden halt.

As he lay there in bed or reclined in a fairly comfortable chair waiting for his 42-year-old body to slowly heal from the damage that had been done to it by the gym floor, what were Marshall's "winter dreams," if you will? Because I imagine he had a few of them. A quick end to the war and a return to "normal," which would have meant the resumption of his popular teaching radio by radio lessons? The establishment of an amateur radio station at every high school in Kansas? The discovery of a cure for polio, the disease that had afflicted his father the final years of his life? A remodeled kitchen at the home place for his younger sister Loretta to enjoy, making life on the farm a little bit easier for her? A well-earned summertime road trip to Maryland with his wife, Ina, to visit some of his kin there?

Perhaps it was at this point in his life that Marshall began pondering the idea of ultimately turning the family farm with its assorted outbuildings and a distinctive two-story house at the center of it all into an inviting place where folks from miles around could come to experience what life was like on a Kansas farm in the early 1900s and to learn about the work he and his sister had done in the field of amateur radio as pioneers in the field. "Ensor Park and Museum … now that might do … I'll have to run that by Loretta sometime and see what she thinks," I can easily envision him saying to himself as he contemplated the future.

Well, enough of the past, fast forward to the present. So when there was snow on the ground a couple of months ago, the wind was blowing hard out of the north and the mercury was still headed south at two o'clock in the afternoon, what were your "winter dreams," if you will? Restoring that Viking II you inherited from your uncle? Doubling the size of your shack if your XYL will let you? Coming across a rare photo of your great-grandmother on the Internet, the great-grandmother you've heard so much about and have always wondered what she looked like? Finally getting down to Arizona after all these years to catch a Royals spring training game? Or here's one to consider: eventually finding a good home for all those records you used to play on something called a turntable that was connected to a pair of spiffy-looking speakers to achieve that stereo effect?

Beatles. Stones. Yardbirds. Kinks. Maybe even The Mamas and The Papas and their rendition of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" … what are you asking?

Smith Chart References

J Andera - K0NK

smith chart

Youtube videos by W2AEW:

On-line Smith Chart Tool:


FCC Removes Categorical Exemption from Evaluating RF Exposure for Amateur Stations

G McCarville - WB0CNK


On December 4th, 2019, the FCC amended Part 97 Amateur Service with the release of ET Docket 19-226. Most of the changes in this Docket apply to other licensees in the commercial, medical and other fields, however a significant action for amateur licensees was the removal of what was known as the Categorical Exemption from performing RF Radiation Evaluations. The Categorical Exemption has been in the rules since 1996, and as the FCC stated "was based on power alone." It typically involved an "easy to use" Table that has been widely published.  Amateurs simply needed to spot their RF power and the Ham Band in the table to see if they were exempted from performing the formal evaluation. If the RF power was below a certain value, for example 100 Watts on the 15 Meter band, or 50 Watts on the 2 Meter and 6 Meter bands, operation could immediately commence with no further action. If the
power was higher, a formal evaluation was then required. 

"Table 1" in the FCC OET65B is part of the original requirement, and its contents have been prominently replicated for years in license manuals, study guides, and handbooks, etc.

A majority of the FCC changes affected other US licensees (commercial,medical and others) as the FCC stated: " We streamline our criteria for
determining when a licensee is exempt from our RF exposure evaluation criteria, replacing our prior regime of service-based exemptions with a set of formulas for situations in which the risk of excessive RF exposure is minimal."

The FCC implemented a transition period of two years from the effective date of the new rules stating: "We will allow two years from the effective date
of the new rules for licensees to determine if evaluations are required, to perform them where necessary, and to comply with the more specific mitigation requirements we adopt in this order as may be necessary."

In explaining the background for the changes in Docket 19-226, the FCC said "Modern communications technologies are an ever-increasingly critical
part of our everyday lives and play a vital role in the execution of our businesses and daily affairs. The number and types of radio frequency (RF)
devices have proliferated, and the ways we interact with them are continuously changing. As a result, our environment is populated with RF sources,
at times located in close proximity to humans."

The FCC did not change the current RF exposure limits saying: "This decision is supported by our expert sister agencies,..." and "Specifically, no expert health agency expressed concern about the Commission’s RF exposure limits. Rather, agencies’ public statements continue to support the current limits."

Amateur radio operators will recall the safety chapter they studied for passing their license exam, where the difference between non-ionizing RF radio
wave radiation (which can cause heating), is much different than actual ionizing radiation from sources such as medical x-rays, nuclear materials,
tanning beds and sunshine, etc. (where electrons are torn away from their atoms, altering the material).

In the release, the FCC specified the replacement of the categorical exemption saying "for licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, we substitute our
general exemption criteria for the specific exemption from routine evaluation based on power alone in Section 97.13(c)(1) and specify the use of occupational/controlled limits for amateurs where appropriate."

Although the ARRL petitioned the FCC, through official comments to retain the evaluation exemption for amateur radio stations operating below
a certain power threshold, the FCC said: "We are not persuaded that the existing requirement, which limits routine evaluation only to higher-powered amateur station transmitters regardless of distance, is adequate to avoid inadvertent non-compliance with the RF exposure limits. Amateur radio
licensees operate a variety of installations of different size, power, and frequency, which can be located in close proximity to people, giving rise to various
RF exposure concerns. This further supports the need for consideration of more than just transmitter power alone, as the previous rules had done, as a basis for determining compliance with our RF exposure rules."

The new FCC rules do list exemptions for 3 broad conditions, and they apply to all authorized RF sources, however only the third condition(iii) appears
truly applicable for Amateurs.  The FCC said "Specifically, we create three broad classes of RF exemptions: (i) for extremely low-power devices that transmit at no more than 1 mW; (ii) for somewhat higher-power devices with transmitting antennas that operate within 40 cm of the body, a formula based primarily on the localized specific absorption rate (SAR) limits; and (iii) for all other transmitters based on a set of formulas for the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits."

For Amateur Licensee evaluations, the FCC referenced resources already available from the FCC, the ARRL, and others, saying: "When evaluation
is required, additional guidance is available in tabulated generic analyses of compliance for broad classes of antennas and installations from the
Commission and third parties. See FCC Office of Engineering at Technology, Additional Information for Amateur Radio Stations, OET Bulletin 65, Supplement B, (1997); Ed Hare, RF Exposure and You, The Amateur Radio Relay League (1998). This guidance has been available for years and
is an acceptable method to determine compliance. These resources were developed by the Commission and private amateur groups, including the
ARRL, to aid in determining compliance with the exposure limits."

Below are web links with information to understand more about RF exposure, and ways to complete an evaluation:

A good place to actually begin an evaluation is with the ARRL RF Exposure Worksheets A and B. (Note: The FCC change now makes completing
Worksheet B a necessary step.)

Also note in OET Supplement B Bulletin 65, there are numerous tables for different antenna types and bands, as well as a more complex
worksheet (check Section 4 on page 21).

ARRL Home Page for RF Exposure - Numerous Articles and links (some copied below): 
Book: RF Exposure and You by Ed Hare, W1FI from ARRL web site:
The ARRL Handbook RF Safety Coverage
FCC OET Bulletin 65:
FCC OET Supplement B Bulletin 65 :
ARRL RF Exposure Worksheets A and B:
Amateur Radio RF Safety Calculator by Paul Evans, VP9KF


Club Contact Information

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Calendar of Events

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