Friday, February 19, 2010

A Bunch of Amateurs

I changed the name of my blog in honor of our family's new pastime. Ryan started it all awhile back when he decided to increase the number of people in Kern Valley available to transmit information in an emergency. He did this by passing a test so he could become an amateur radio operator. In certain emergencies, it is likely that most of us won't be able to use our cell phones, and we want to be prepared! Last fall, David found out that there are not very many members of our church in Bakersfield qualified to pass information in an emergency, so he studied up and also passed the test to become a "technician" level operator ( same as Ryan). Oscar and his brother, Andres, followed, also becoming "technicians ." In January, Oscar upgraded to "general" the same day Jocelyn passed her "technician" test. Karrie joined the ranks a couple of weeks ago. I hope I don't shame the family by being the only one who can't pass the test. I'm a little backward when it comes to knowledge of electricity. Isn't it magic? I've always thought so. I'll find out if I've learned enough tomorrow night. David is going with me to take the "general" exam. There are a bunch more friends and family who said they will be there. We'll see.
Anyway, about SPURIOUS EMISSIONS...( I love saying that, it sounds like dangerous rays or or something coming from outer space. ) What it actually is, according to my new found knowledge of radio is "emission on a frequency or frequencies which are outside the necessary bandwidth and the level of which my be reduced without affecting the corresponding transmissions of information. Spurious emissions may include harmonic (I love that word too.) emissions, parasitic emissions, intermodulatulation products and frequency conversion products but exclude out-of band emissions." In case you were wondering, "HARMONICS are electric voltages and currents that appear on the electric power system as a result of certain kinds of electric loads. Harmonic frequencies in the power grid are a frequent cause of power quality problems." See my point?