‘Twas The Night at the Site…

I know you can relate to this one!
Merry Christmas from the Heartland!

– Tom Beattie


‘Twas The Night at the Site…

‘Twas the night before Christmas and up at the site,
Not a creature was stirring, not the kind that can bite.
The gear had been checked and checked twice with great care,
In the hopes that on Christmas I’d be home and not there.
The GM was nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of dollar signs danced in his head.
The station was fine; I hung up my cap,
And planned to relax with a long winter’s nap.

When there on the nightstand the phone raised a clatter,
Remote control calling, its mechanical chatter
Confirmed what I feared and knew in a flash:
The plates read “point zero.” I’d just have to dash.

To the site with the moon on the new fallen snow,
I pulled on my boots and made ready to go.
When I got up the mountain the problem was clear
Some guy thought our building looked just like a deer.

With a dead RF final and drive way too hot
I knew in my gut what it was that got shot.
A hole in the tube! That’ll cause it to fail.
“But where is the spare?” I started to wail.

On a shelf? In the cabinet! Where is that darned spare?
In a box marked “Still Good”? Nope, not even there.
I looked on the porch, on the shelf on the wall
I dashed this way and that way and dashed down the hall.

And then in a twinkling, I found what I needed
And did a quick check as the job was completed.
I pushed the plates on, and was turning around
When up the tube’s chimney, smoke came with a bound.

I was frozen with fear, from my head to my foot,
As my clothes got all covered with ashes and soot.
A bundle of money had just flown up that stack
And I cursed that guy’s gun hanging back in its rack.

My eyes were not merry, my smile likewise buried.
My cheeks were all bristly, my mood was still harried.
My droll little mouth was locked tight in a frown
As I worked toward “back on” instead of “still down.”

The shorting rod shook as I gritted my teeth
And the smoke? It circled my head like a wreath.
Now, I have a broad face, some say a round belly
But there was no laughter that night, no bowlful of jelly.

I was crabby and tired, not a Christmas Eve elf
As I yelled and I stammered and felt bad for myself.
In the blink of an eye and a punch of a button
I’d burned up big bucks, just all of a sudden.

I spoke not a word, went straight back to work,
And found a new cap and plugged it in with a jerk.
And keeping my finger real close to “Plate Off,”
Punched it back on with a small, nervous cough.

A new spring in my step, I gave up a shout.
It powered right up! I can finally get out!
The sun was just up as I drove from the site
Merry Christmas to me; I’m done! …
For tonight.

Amateur Radio News

by Tom Weeden WJ9H: Thanks to Chapter 24 

In their regular meeting late last year, the four FCC Commissioners unanimously agreed to allocate spectrum and adopt service and technical rules for the utilization of new implanted medical devices that operate on 413-457 MHz (70 cm). These devices will be used on a secondary basis as part of the Medical Data Radiocommunication Service in Part 95 of the FCC rules. The Amateur Radio Service also has a secondary allocation on the 70 cm band. These new rules are the result of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that the FCC released in March 2009. A Report & Order that will define these new rules is expected soon. According to the FCC, these devices would greatly expand the use of functional electric stimulation to restore sensation, mobility and function to those persons with paralyzed limbs and organs; they would be implanted in a patient and function as wireless broadband medical micropower networks (MMNs). Calling the new rules an “advance[ment of] its mobile broadband agenda,” the FCC said this will create “a new generation of wireless medical devices that could be used to restore functions to paralyzed limbs. Medical Micropower Networks (MMNs) are ultra-low power wideband networks consisting of multiple transmitters implanted in the body that use electric currents to activate and monitor nerves and muscles.”

The Commission also noted that its National Broadband Plan — released in 2010 — observed “that the use of spectrum-agile radios and other techniques can significantly increase the efficient use of radio spectrum to meet growing demand for this valuable resource. MMNs illustrate how advanced technology can enable the more efficient use of spectrum to deliver innovative new services.” The American Radio Relay League, in comments filed in 2009, said, “The Amateur Service has a practical inability to protect patients wearing RF susceptible MMNs from interference from ongoing amateur operations in the 420-450 MHz band, and therefore all MMN operation is going to have to be conditioned on the ability to withstand and operate in the presence of such high-power signals, and thus subordinate in allocation status to the Amateur Service.”

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