June 21, 1999: RDS TO THE RESCUE As soon as I noticed a sporadic-E opening tearing up OKC 4 and 5, and on up to ch 6, I turned the ATS-909 on FM and started tuning up with the whip antenna only. There was a skip signal on 89.3 with classical music, and before I had a chance to think about what it might be, up popped the ID on the RDS window : "WSCI" which is Charleston SC. Thank you, very much. Turned out to be carrying NPR syndicated classical //KOSU-91.7 but a satellite delay or two behind KOSU, until KOSU split at 1714 UT June 21 for local PSAs. Kept tuning and came upon some new OK RDS'ers -- 94.7 first displayed from memory WSCI, then switched to the correct "KQSR". And local KOFM 103.1 Enid even has it now with "KOFM" ID. I put these in quotes since a station can put anything they want on the RDS, not necessarily the legal ID, e.g. OKC 101.9's "TWISTER" (gh) Daytime bandscans June 20 and 21 show KOKC-1490 Guthrie missing again; when on, it has been relaying KNOR-1400 Norman (gh) June 21: NEW SEVERE WEATHER CHANNEL Steve Miller, KC5TRR of Stillwater, Oklahoma, reports that storm spotters and chasers from around the country who use ham radio for communications have voted in favor of using 146.55 MHz. This, as a universal nationwide simplex frequency during severe weather events. Miller tells Newsline that the decision to adopt 146.55 MHz came following two months of work and two lengthy forums to discuss the issue. For more information, Steve says to visit http://www.hamsnet.net/kc5trr. (KC5TRR) (Newsline June 18, 1999, via John Norfolk, "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING) June 19: KJON, 850, Anadarko, finally seems to be clear of a nasty modulation- peak spur from KBYE, 890, OKC, which has been plaguing it for YEARS. Several random checks in June no longer find the problem. We had complained informally about this a few months ago to FCC's Riley Hollingsworth, known for his efforts in cleaning up the ham bands. He replied that he'd pass it on to his counterpart in the appropriate FCC office. The only distinctive show on KJON we know of, Indians for Indians, is still on the air Saturdays at 11 am - noon CT, as reconfirmed June 19. Now all we have to fight are T-storm crashes and KOA's residual groundwave co-channel. When we phoned the manager of then KRPT in Anadarko a few years ago, she would not grasp the importance of this problem cutting into KRPT's coverage, especially between Anadarko and OKC (gh, Enid) June 15: OKC's NBC affiliate, owned, believe it or not by The New York Times, is reaping a bonanza of worldwide publicity -- and its competitors have no choice but to join in -- by the sheer coincidence that the allied forces in Kosova are known as "KFOR". Station, originally WKY-TV, and interimly KTVY, recently celebrated 50th anniversary (gh) June 2: HAMS WRAP UP OKLAHOMA TORNADO DUTY Hams in Oklahoma stood down at mid-month following several days of volunteering to provide emergency communication after severe tornadoes devastated entire communities May 3. The Oklahoma storms left dozens dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless. Meteorologists now say the worst tornadoes were F5 storms packing record-breaking winds of 318 mph! "It's like a nuclear bomb went off," said ARRL Public Information Coordinator Tom Webb, WA9AFM. Webb was among the hams assisting Red Cross teams with damage assessment following the storm. Hams got initial word of the tornadoes to the National Weather Service. "The first reports of tornado development came to our forecast office through ham radio," said Dennis McCarthy, KC5EVH, the meteorologist in charge of the NWS Forecast Office in Norman, Oklahoma. The Salvation Army's Frank McCollum, N5FM, coordinated Amateur Radio activities on behalf of his organization. McCollum, who also organized the Salvation Army's Amateur Radio efforts in the wake of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, said that ham radio remained "critical" until cellular telephone service was restored. Ham volunteers subsequently were assigned to handle transport for meals. Some even volunteered to load and unload trucks and delivery vehicles. "We did good!" McCollum exulted. Jim Volner, WA1VIB, reports that hams aided volunteers using heavy equipment to remove storm debris in the heavily-damaged village of Bridge Creek, 20 miles south of Oklahoma City. "I was very proud to be part of the situation where ham radio operators and the community all came together to provide a vital service," said Volner, a New Hampshire State Police retiree. By mid-May, Oklahoma Section Manager Charlie Calhoun, K5TTT, reported that Amateur Radio efforts were officially wrapped up. "Many times we think of those who helped after the incident, but I would also like to thank the weather spotters who helped warn on this storm" Calhoun said, "If it were not for them, we could have lost many more lives." For more Oklahoma tornado information and photos, visit http://www.hamsnet.net/kc5trr/oklahoma_disaster.htm (John Norfolk, "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", R.I.B.) May 13: KOCO-TV has, more often than not, been running at least a sesquiminute late past 10:35 pm, joining Nightline in progress. This cannot be an accident -- and the runover time is commercials following the local news. Perhaps making up for all the revenue lost during tornado coverage -- but most unprofessional. They would no doubt maintain there was just too much news to squeeze into only 35 minutes... (gh) May 11: OKLAHOMA, KANSAS TORNADOES: HAM RADIO IS THERE--BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER Hams in Oklahoma and Kansas were ready and waiting in the hours before severe tornadoes devastated entire communities south of Oklahoma City and in the Wichita, Kansas, area. The storm system developed in southwestern Oklahoma and moved to the northeast, spawning numerous tornadoes. The storms have left at least 46 people dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless. Peter Laws, N5UWY, at the National Severe Storms Lab in Norman, Oklahoma, reports that the National Weather Service office there was in contact--mostly via 2 meters--with various weather-spotting nets to the south and west of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. "SKYWARN is a regular, everyday occurrence here, and hams are a vital part of the warning process," Laws said. The storms wiped out thousands of houses. Meteorologists said the worst tornadoes appeared to be F5 storms packing winds of 260 mph. Oklahoma Public Information Coordinator Thomas Webb, WA9AFM, reports he's monitored health-and-welfare traffic on both 2 meters and 75 meters coordinating Salvation Army canteen support. "Based on the excellent warning, most of the victims appear to have left the disaster area prior to the strike and were in contact with friends or family or were in shelters with adequate communications," he said. Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Bennett Basore, W5ZTN, has been running emergency nets and radio amateurs have been handling "tons of health and welfare traffic." The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) has established an Amateur Radio link with Oklahoma City. SATERN is accepting requests via the Internet for information about the health and welfare of loved ones in the Oklahoma City area. Visit http://www.angelfire.com/il/satern411/emailfrm.html for more information. (A "Family Finder" site also is being operated by Unibuilt Technology at http://www.unibuilt.com/okcsupport/ ) On May 6, both the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross put out calls for additional Amateur Radio assistance. Oklahoma Section Manager Charlie Calhoun, K5TTT, reports the Salvation Army requested additional amateur operators starting May 7 and probably for the rest of the week. "They need hams to act as shadows and transport units in addition to manning the canteens," he said. No vehicles were being allowed in the field, and officials were shuttling hams in and out. Calhoun said it appeared that Amateur Radio communication would be required at least through May 8. Hams from the Tulsa area were planning to head for the Oklahoma City area to assist. The Red Cross has requested at least 50 hams to begin damage assessment May 7. Amateurs in the affected communities used operating VHF and UHF repeaters plus HF to coordinate health-and-welfare traffic inquiries, mobile canteens, shelters, and other emergency response activities. At Calhoun's request, the FCC on May 4 declared a communications emergency in the Oklahoma area. The FCC declared 3900 kHz and 7285 kHz (plus or minus 3 kHz) off limits until 5 PM Central Time on May 7. [One of the mentally challenged bozos on the rec.radio.amateur.misc newsgroup, "Oris," unaware that 3900 is the regular Oklahoma emergency frequency, wrote that the FCC probably chose 3900 to run Rich "Porkbutt" Whiten, WB2OTK, off his favorite frequency of 3901. Meanwhile, in an earlier posting, Whiten himself claimed that K4OKA was jamming the emergency net on 3900. "The Moron is running double sideband on 3894.5, his signal is up as far as 3903...Wonder where Riley is now."--jn] Jim Leist, KB5W, who chairs the Central Area Staff of the National Traffic System, said the storms hit telephone services hard, and officials were asking that cellular telephone usage be restricted to emergency services personnel. "Amateur radio resources in the area are heavily involved with support to those agencies," Leist said. "On-site support is the first priority for hams in the affected areas." Leist said the only real backlog was in the area of health-and- welfare requests coming from outside. He said it's likely that health-and-welfare traffic will remain backed up for several days, due to a lack of outlets to handle the messages on the receiving end. "Anyone accepting H&W messages should inform the senders of this unavoidable delay and the reasons for it," he said. For more Oklahoma tornado information and photos, visit http://www.hamsnet.net/kc5trr/oklahoma_disaster.htm In the Wichita, Kansas, area, ARES District 5 EC Bob Harder, W0BH, reports his ARES group was called up by the Red Cross shortly after the storm. "ARES members and other area hams worked all night and all next day providing communication for the Red Cross headquarters and later between three shelters set up in the south Wichita area," he said. Harder cited Red Cross Coordinator, John Sullivan, KG0MZ, and Assistant Red Cross Coordinator, Greg Mitchell, N0WHC, for helping to make operations run smoothly. The Salvation Army has established a shelter in an elementary school in the Wichita area, and four mobile canteens are serving food and beverages for residents and emergency workers. Kansas Section Manager Orlan Cook, W0OYH, in Shawnee, reported that Kansas nets were operating on their normal schedules. (ARRL Letter, May 7, 1999, American Radio Relay League) F-5 TORNADO HITS OKC - OTHERS HIT KANSAS When daybreak came to Oklahoma and Kansas on Tuesday May 4th, rescue crews were still picking their way past snapped-off trees and smashed cars. This, in a search for more victims of powerful tornadoes that killed at least forty-five people on Monday May 3rd. The biggest of the storms -- an F-5 category tornado cut a half-mile wide path of destruction in an area near Oklahoma City. Power lines were toppled, debris flew and sirens blared as the twister moved from Chickasha to Oklahoma City's heavily populated suburbs some 50 miles to the northeast. Television reports from the area showed hundreds of destroyed homes and vehicles. Police and emergency workers, aided by ham radio operators had spent the night combing through the debris in the overnight darkness, knowing that a severe weather watch was still in effect. According to news reports, President Clinton has declared 11 counties in Oklahoma disaster areas. Meanwhile, the frequencies of 7.285 and 3.900 MHz have been declared as off limits to all but Tornado related ham radio emergency communications until at least Friday May 7th. Hams not directly involved in the storm relief effort are requested to keep at least three kilohertz away. Even after May 7th be sure to check to see if these frequencies are clear of emergency communications before making a call. (Newsline, W0QA - Off-Air Audio by RAIN) (Newsline, May 7, 1999) (via "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?") QST de W1AW ARRL Bulletin 30 ARLB030 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT May 6, 1999 To all radio amateurs SB QST ARL ARLB030 ARLB030 Operators still needed in Oklahoma tornado recovery The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross have put out calls for additional Amateur Radio assistance in the wake of Monday's devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Bennett Basore, W5ZTN, has been running emergency nets and radio amateurs have been handling ''tons of health and welfare traffic.'' Oklahoma Section Manager Charlie Calhoun, K5TTT, reports the Salvation Army has requested amateur operators starting May 7 and probably for the rest of the week. ''They need hams to act as shadows and transport units in addition to manning the canteens,'' Calhoun said. ''They are expecting to send out 40 canteens into the field tomorrow.'' Calhoun said much of the activity is going through the Edmond, Oklahoma, 147.135 MHz repeater, which can be difficult to access with hand-held transceivers. He said mobile transceivers and external antennas and power sources would be a better choice. He said volunteers should plan to stay at least four hours in the field. No vehicles are allowed in the field, and officials are shuttling hams in and out. Calhoun said it appeared that Amateur Radio communication would be required at least through Saturday. Volunteers should check in with the net control on the 147.135 repeater upon arriving in Oklahoma City. Hams from the Tulsa area are planning to leave today for the Oklahoma City area to assist. Ken Runyon, KC5PNO, reports that The Red Cross is requesting at least 50 amateur operators to be available all day Friday, May 7, to begin damage assessment. ''Hams will start working with damage assessment teams at 7:30 AM and will be moving from home to home through the disaster area,'' he said. Operators will need good footwear, a two-meter radio, and batteries to last at least 10 hours. Volunteers should contact the Red Cross, 405 232-7121. OK Public Information Coordinator Thomas Webb, WA9AFM, reports he's monitored health-and-welfare traffic on both 2 meters and 75 meters coordinating Salvation Army canteen support. ''Based on the excellent warning, most of the victims appear to have left the disaster area prior to the strike and were in contact with friends or family or were in shelters with adequate communications,'' he said. For more tornado information and photos, visit http://www.hamsnet.net/kc5trr/oklahomadisaster.htm [sic---it's http://www.hamsnet.net/kc5trr/oklahoma_disaster.htm] (via John Norfolk, OKCOK) May 7: Glenn: I tuned to the 8:30 PM CDT news last night and heard about the tornadoes in the OKC area. KOMA 1520 was already fading in with simulcast of an OKC TV station. The signal got stronger and stronger until about 9:40 P.M. CDT when it abruptly faded out. I guess they either went to their directional pattern very late or they lost all power at the transmitter. At 11:45 I tuned around around and found WSB with a CNN simulcast. They started talking about all of these tornadoes in and around the Enid area. So I'm very glad that you and the WOR Headquarters are O.K. How did Enid come out???????? P.S.I can't believe that 930 AM was all sports last night. 73s, (Artie Bigley, Louisville, KY May 4) George Thurman was also asking me about OK clear channel AM stations. OK got the short end of the stick as far as CC's -- the only two are KOMA-1520 OKC and KVOO 1170 Tulsa. Both have nulls toward the east at night, but are widely heard westward. KOMA is oldies, KVOO country, neither normally bothering much with news, tho KVOO is better than KOMA. The only stations with a significant news format in the state are KTOK 1000 OKC but low powered, doesn't get out at night; and KRMG 740 Tulsa; tho 50 kW day with a directional signal that reaches into the TX and OK panhandles, gets lost at night with a different pattern and lower power. The transmitter sites of both KOMA-1520 and KTOK-1000 are in Moore or the southern part of OKC not too far (but evidently far enough) from the path of destruction. Enid had some tornados [I think spelling this with an E makes the word too "cute" and an English affectation] spotted in the area later in the evening around 10:30-11:30; sirens went off and we were all advised to take cover. One was supposedly heading straight across central Enid from the only mall at the SW corner - but if so, it never touched down. From the storm cellar we didn't hear any high winds at all, and there weren't even any tree limbs broken as has frequently happened before from straight winds (gh) Subject: [AmFmTvDx] OKC tornados All is well here on the west side of Oklahoma City after Monday evening's devastating tornados. As of this writing, there are 24 dead in the metro. Media casualties include KSBI 52 and KMSI 88.1. Two other stations, KVSP 1140 and KTLV 1220, both essentially daytimers, were in the path of the storm, and it's unknown what kind of damage they've suffered. (John Zondlo, Yukon, OK, May 4, amfmtvdx) Well, none of those stations were worth seeing/hearing, anwyay, but I did notice 52 on the air as usual since (gh) QST de W1AW ARRL Bulletin 29 ARLB029 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT May 4, 1999 To all radio amateurs SB QST ARL ARLB029 ARLB029 COMMUNICATIONS EMERGENCY DECLARED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 97.401 OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION'S RULES AND REGULATIONS, (47 C.F.R. PART 97) A COMMUNICATIONS EMERGENCY IS DECLARED TO EXIST IN THE OKLAHOMA AREA DUE TO THE VIOLENT TORNADOES AND EXPECTED SEVERE WEATHER, REQUIRING THE PROTECTION OF AMATEUR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION FREQUENCIES. AMATEURS ARE REQUIRED TO REFRAIN FROM USING 3900 KHZ FROM NOW UNTIL MAY 7 AT 2100 CENTRAL STANDARD TIME. ALSO, AMATEURS ARE REQUIRED TO REFRAIN FROM USING 7285 KHZ FOR THE SAME TIME FRAME. BOTH FREQUENCIES ARE PROTECTED PLUS OR MINUS 3 KHZ UNLESS AMATEURS ARE TAKING PART IN THE HANDLING OF EMERGENCY TRAFFIC. THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. ARLAN K. VAN DOORN DEPUTY CHIEF COMPLIANCE AND INFORMATION BUREAU FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION WASHINGTON, DC. (via John Norfolk) Kudos to MSNBC Author: Dan Date: 1999/05/04 Forum: alt.talk.weather They had the very best coverage of the Oklahoma/Kansas tornadoes. Kicked CNN in the teeth. Damned good coverage, best video and "live" interviews of a breaking event. Should be good enough for a news emmy. Way to go guys!! Welcome to the big leagues. Re: Kudos to MSNBC Author: Erick Church Date: 1999/05/04 Forum: alt.talk.weather Actually, they were leeching info from KFOR in OKC, which had very good coverage, as did all local stations. When MSNBC was doing its own coverage, it was poor at best. All night, I heard lots of incorrect info, and their info was very inconsistent. Albeit, this was true with all of the cable networks. When a tornado was moving into the city of Tulsa at about midnight, about a mile west of my home, KJRH the NBC affiliate stayed on the air even as the funnel was on top of the station. Everyone in the station had moved into the station basement except for 2 on-air meteorologists. Goes to show why Oklahoma has the best severe weather coverage. Incidentally, I've been a storm spotter for nearly 15 years, and I've never seen a tornado as large as the one that tracked across the south OKC metro area. I was about 3 miles south of the storm, and the power felt like the thing was on top of me. I've seen the big Andover, KS tornado in 1991, the Hesston, KS tornado in 1990, and other big storms, and this was the worst I've seen. It hits close to home, as the tornado moved directly across the neighborhood I grew up in in south OKC. -Erick ErickTUL@webtv.net EChurch@RadioDigest.com Re: Kudos to MSNBC Author: Mike Schneider Date: 1999/05/04 Forum: alt.talk.weather n article <436-372EF403-1@newsd-142.iap.bryant.webtv.net>, ErickTUL@webtv.net (Erick Church) wrote: > Incidentally, I've been a storm spotter for nearly 15 years [etc] There is one piece of video they are occasionally showing in which the tornado (huge) is shown in the right of the frame, moving to the left, and the camera zooms in to the ground in front of it with a water tower in the distance. Debris flies and transformers blow in brilliant flashes. Then everything goes black and swirly. The only video I've seen of a tornado as big was that shot of an F5 tornado that went on to hit Chandler MN several years ago (*the* widest wedge I've ever seen -- gargantuan). Mike Schneider, VRWC Sentinel Outpost. "Autoguns, on-line!" (via John Norfolk, OKCOK) May 4: I hope that you are all right after those tornadoes which ripped through Oklahoma last night. CNN was broadcasting the local Fox station in Oklahoma City, while CTV News 1 was relaying KWTV between 10 & 11 PM ET. News was still re-broadcasting KWTV as 4 AM ET May 4. 73, (Ivan Grishin, May 4) As of mid-Tuesday afternoon, KFOR, KOCO and KWTV were still running total tornado aftermath coverage, everything else pre-empted. Will we lose a second total network primetime evening? (gh) Tornado coverage: Not knowing anything was brewing, I turned on the OKC TV stations Monday around 6:15 pm to check the weather, and they were already in nonstop commercialfree tornado coverage preempting everything. Did the suits in NY ever think that making May a sweeps month with lots of new episodes rather than reruns would get them lost forever to Oklahoma and other Tornado Alley viewers? Of course not! But this was so bad I have nothing but applause for KFOR, KOCO and KWTV. The Fox station, KOKH started Ally McBeal, but rather clumsily would up covering up about half of it for storm warnings from its second-rate news and weather department while everyone else was surely glued to the Big 3. We had more close calls in Enid, and spent the better part of an hour in the storm cellar, but again so far no damage at WOR HQ. As of Tue morning, it's not over yet. Many tnx to those who expressed their concern (gh) April 27: OKC stations also rushed to Denver, unnecessarily. It's hard to know the precise arrangements, but some reporters rushing to disasters also free-lance for any station that wants their reports, or supply them to a group ownership. When they say "back to you" without naming the home anchors, you know its a "blind feed" but the home anchors pretend they are actually in contact with the reporter (gh) April 13: OK MOZART FESTIVAL season is upon us again -- the radio season, that is, concerts recorded last June; caught tail of one ending at 11 pm CT Saturday April 10 on KCSC 90.1, so probably starts at 9 pm. Was the one with Peter Schickele, I missed, drat. KOSU 91.7 no doubt will carry this too; last spring it was Saturday afternoons in part of space vacated by Metropolitan Opera (gh) [KOSU has been running a week after KCSC, so we caught Schickele there; season ends in early July] April 5: KAUT, 43, OKC, the UPN affiliate and one of the last mono holdouts, first noted with stereo pilot on Wed eve March 31 when I tuned in for Star Trek: Voyager - the audio sounded sorta stereo ambient, but no swooshing sound effects across the room, so I suspect it is another phony synthesized stereo setup like KOCB, 34, the WB affiliate, has been using for some time (gh) KOED, 11, Tulsa, the OETA PBS station, continues to run dead channel on its activated SAP whenever tropo brings in the signal strong enough here to discern -- unlike KETA, 13, OKC, which has stereo but no SAP. Possibly they use it for DVS on rare occasions this is available? Elsewise, it could be a nuisance for ignorant viewers who inadvertently turn on SAP and wonder why there's no sound and can't get it back (gh) KOSU, 91.7, Stillwater, brought us another excruciating foulup due to automation and nobody minding the store, Sunday morning, April 4. I've never heard anything like this before: two program sources mixing, evidently the overnight jazz show, and Sound Money, when checked at 6:08 am CDT - but instead of a blend, the two audio sources were rapidly alternating, maybe 10 times a second in rapid pulses of each. This evidently went on for at least an hour, still the case when rechecked at 6:59, including during local promo -- so not strictly an NPR network problem. On and on into beginning of Weekend Edition Sunday, and finally fixed by 7:08 when I suspect someone actually showed up at the studio to prepare a news capsule for 8:04 (gh) April 3: JIMBO ON CLEAR CHANNEL It's been a few years since any of the 50 kW behemoths audible here in CNAm carried Jim Bohannon -- at least on the 9 pm-midnight live feed, tho we happen to have him on a local in Enid, KGWA, 960, except for stupid ballgames and when they screw up putting on Bruce Williams instead, the most boring talkhost imaginable. And March 31, heard Jim mention he was on KRLD, 1080, Dallas, and sure enough, he was. So that covers at least the middle third of the country (gh) KOKC, 1490, Guthrie, first noted back on the air after 3-4 weeks silence, Sat April 3 in noon hour "Out to Lunch" with Caroldene Shriner and her heavy Okie accent, ID as "Metro Talk 14" so still originating at KNOR, 1400, Norman (gh)