DELTA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB


SPARKS
Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 13 / AUGUST 1999

W 4 B S    R E P E A T E R    S Y S T E M

146.82, 147.36, 224.42, 443.2 & 145.03 Packet


PRESIDENT’S PAGE

This month I have a number of items that I would like to share with the membership. The first of which is the move of the 146.82 to the new WPTY tower in Brunswick. This has been a major project from its inception back in October of last year, that’s when we learned that the old WPTY tower site had been sold and the tower was being dismantled. The first major task was to find a new site for the 146.82. We had a number of options but the best one we had was the agreement that WPTY made to Delta Amateur Radio Club years ago. At that time the folks at WPTY told the Delta Club that if they ever moved to a new location, we would be welcomed at their new site. Thanks to Tommy Thompson (KD4TJO), he established contact with WPTY officials and obtained permission to relocate the “.82” repeater to their new site. I thought that once we had obtained confirmation on a site for our repeater the hard part was over, little did I know.

Now that the site for the “.82” repeater had been identified, and confirmation received that we could move to the new site, our attention turned to the dismantling of the repeater, the antenna, and the hard-line. We had been informed that the new owners would not permit anyone from Delta Club to climb the tower because we didn’t have sufficient liability insurance. We were now faced with finding a way to remove our antenna and hard-line, and do it in such a fashion that the hard-line was not damaged. Once again, our good relation with WPTY came to the surface. The Chief Engineer for WPTY informed Tommy that he would have the people who were taking their equipment down and reinstalling it on their new site would also take ours down. In addition, we learned that we had received a donation of approximately 700 feet of 1 5/8“ heliax. That was significantly larger than what we were currently using and would add to the efficiency of the “.82” repeater.

Well, it’s now August and the 146.82 repeater is resting comfortably at its new home out in Brunswick, TN. Hopefully, because this article was written before the move was completed, it is operating fine and the coverage is as good, if not better than it was at its old home.

One thing that a lot of people aren’t aware of regarding the move to the new location, and that is that a significant amount of money was required for this move. There was the need for purchasing new hardware, which was necessary to permanently mount the 1 5/8” hard-line to the tower. There was the purchase of a new antenna. A decision was made by both the Board of Directors and the Repeater Committee to purchase a new antenna for the “.82”. The antenna that had been on the old tower had been in use for well over ten years. We felt that since we were moving to a new location, this was the perfect time for us to replace the antenna.

The Board of Directors was prepared to incur the expense of moving the “.82” to its new site, but were well aware that it would put a significant drain on our financial condition. That’s when things started to happen. All of a sudden I had one member come up to me and present me with a donation towards the move. As the months went by, more donations were made to a tune of over $1,600. I am happy to say that as of the writing of this article, the donations have allowed us to purchase the antenna and the various hardware items, and not affect our bank account. I want to express my deepest thanks to those members that stepped forward and helped our club over the rough road it was facing with the move.

At the July meeting I informed the membership in attendance that the Board of Directors had agreed to pursue a joint effort with the Dixie Amateur Radio Group from West Memphis to sponsor a hamfest in the Memphis area. As I mentioned at the meeting, we had been informed that it appeared that there wasn’t going to be a hamest in Memphis this year because the sponsoring club was unable to form a hamfest committee.

The goal of the two clubs was to organize a hamest that represented all the clubs in the surrounding area. We wanted every amateur club in the surrounding area to have an opportunity to participate and share in putting on a hamfest. To date we have a total of four clubs, Hickory Withe DX Club, FedEX Amateur Radio Club, Dixie Amateur Radio Group, and Delta Club, involved in the organization of the hamfest, with others presenting the idea to their board of directors. Thus far we have decided to hold the hamfest either the 2nd or 4th weekend in February in the Shelby County Building at the Fairgrounds and will be called the “DixieFest”. I am unable to give you a specific date because this has not been finalized yet.

We are having 10,000 flyers printed announcing the hamfest, and will take 5,000 to Huntsville, AL to distribute to vendors and attendees. In addition, we will have a booth at the Huntsville Hamfest so that we can have a focal point to advertise our hamfest.

We have only taken the first step, there are many more that have to be taken before this event comes to be. A lot of help is going to be needed, so if you’re interested in getting involved in organizing a hamfest let anyone on the Delta Club Board of Directors know, or contact Jeff Crum (KB5SFV) or Mike West (KD5DCJ).

The month of September is right around the corner, and with it comes the annual Delta Club picnic. This is the time of the year when we get together and enjoy the camaraderie of our fellow amateur friends, eat good food, play the ever intense volleyball game that Nancy Morrow always seems to organize, and even work some QRP on 20 meters.

Unlike in years past, we will not be holding the picnic at Shelby Farms. Freddie Bratton (KF4ZGJ) has agreed, with the assistance of a close friend, to handle the organization of the picnic. He has also arranged for us to use a field that is close to his friend’s house, which is off of Germantown Parkway. There is playground equipment for the younger generation of hams, and video games for those who don’t want to be outside chatting with “us old folks.” So, mark you calendar now, the picnic is going to be held on Sunday, September 12th.

The other event that occurs during the month of September is the Bartlett Celebration. The past couple of years we have held an informal Special Event Station, this year, however, we are going to make it a little more formal. I have asked Ed Trammell (KF4QFW) to submit an announcement of the special event to QST.

In addition to the special event station, Delta Club has been asked to provide communications for the Bartlett Celebration 5K Run on Friday, September 24th. So, if you have a hankering to get your feet wet with HF, and would like to get involved with the 5K Run, mark September 24th, 25th, and 26th on your calendar.

Well, that’s it for another month. I look forward to seeing you at the August meeting.

73,

Ben, KU4AW


VICE PRESIDENT'S CORNER

I'd like to thank everyone who donated to repeater repair last meeting--at least $1,000 was raised. We'll be happy to continue taking donations for the site change and we would be delighted to get enough to buy a new repeater!

We have many other ongoing fund raising projects that can use everyone's support. We will try to sell sodas and can coolers at each meeting. We have decided to hold another auction at the October meeting, so please gather unused equipment and save your money (since there will be no MemFest this year). Please remember to contact Dick if you want to use a travel agency to travel so we can get the commission. Also, please keep buying tickets for the November give away!

As always, we welcome donations at any time (they are tax deductible). I would also love to hear any suggestion on raising funds no matter how small or large.

73,

Kurt, KU4NH


VE CORNER

A greeting of thanks to Barry N4QW, Jim N4ZCO, and Don KJ4PO who helped at the VE Testing Session held on July 13th. We administered 8 elements and had 3 elements passed at that session.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the Aug. session. It seems impossible that summer vacation is almost over and school will be starting soon. Time to watch for those school children crossing the streets.

Remember to renew your license and let the FCC know of any name changes or address changes. If you fill out a 610, I'll be glad to include it in my mailing from the testing session.

73,

Joan KN4PM



AUGUST 10
CLUB MEETING

7365 HWY. 70

BARTLETT, TN

MEETING STARTS AT 7:00 PM

The August program is on CW Operation
by

Chuck, W4VAC and Ken, K4DIT


SECRETARY'S REPORT

July's meeting was a great one! Whether it was due to the food, or the interest sparked by Field Day, increased TV coverage, or who knows what, but we had many new faces and new old faces at this meeting. This eatin' meetin' was so successful, we'll do it again sometime. Listen to the net for announcements.

Thanks to Mike, KG4BVK, Bobby, KG4CMA, and Julie, KF4SJW, for helping with the food for the meeting, and to everyone else who helped set the tables brought desserts, and most importantly, helped clean up afterwards.

Welcome the following 6 new members when you hear them on the air: Paul Cline, WM5Q, his wife Arlene, AA5GX, Ross and Judy Board, who are both working on their tickets, George Crone, KC5VEU, and Steve Campbell, KF4LUR, added his son Daniel when he passed his novice exam. Three hams have renewed their memberships: Bill Matthews, KF4IYD, David Corbett, KB5RJL, and Thomas E McLemore.

See you at the next meeting, 73.

Kathy, KE4UYU


VE TESTING:

Don’t forget the monthly Volunteer Examiner testing session. Registration begins at 5:30p.m. and testing begins promptly at 6:00p.m. Please remember to bring two forms of identification the original and copies of any existing licenses or CSCE’s you might have. Please be on time for registration, as you will not be allowed to enter the testing session after 6:00 p.m., so our volunteer VE team can finish in time to attend the club meeting. Call Joan Thorne 366-9722, if special testing arrangements are required.


Dah di dah dit, dah dah di dah!

Several of our members holding Tech Plus licenses (and even a few with General Class!) have, on occasion, indicated that they would like to try some HF CW, but didn't really know what to do. IF THIS IS APPLICABLE TO YOU, don't miss the August meeting. Two of our premier CW ops, Chuck - W4VAC and Ken - K4DIT are going to show you how it's done. Chuck was a railroad telegrapher prior to his retirement and to hear him send CW is like listening to Pavoratti do an aria! Chuck's CW is indeed melodious and quite possibly the best I've ever heard in my 39 years in ham radio. Ken is also an accomplished CW op and contributed mightily to our Field Day CW station's 462 CW contacts. BRING SOME PAPER AND A PEN OR PENCIL and hear two masters of the CW art "pound the brass."

dadah dididit, Didididadah, K4TTA



W4BS REPEATER SYSTEM

146.82 net 8:00 PM

147.36 tone = 107.2
(BACK ON THE AIR AT A TEMPORARY LOCATION)

224.42 1.25 m reptr

BACK ON THE AIR

443.20 patch, 107.2

145.03 packet / bbs


PACKET UPDATE...

Creative Services Software has come out with a new Windows 32 bit terminal program for Kantronics TNCs. The software supports all Kantronics TNCs that has firmware 5.0 and above. It supports multiple connects and each stream has it's own window with a transmit buffer. It will run under Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT and has callbook support built in.

The software also will support multimode operation like CW, RTTY, AMTOR, GTOR, and NAVTEX if your TNC supports these modes. The user interface uses pull down commands and menus typical of Windows programs and makes it easy to use. Picture and sound support is also provided with YAPP. This is a nice terminal program if you are running Windows and a Kantronics TNC.

James Butler KB4LJV


AMATEUR HARDWARE UPDATE...

Many times we experiment with equipment or build up accessories for gear we have bought. When hooking up for wiring for the first time safety is important. The circuit may be connected wrong or have a problem in the circuitry. High currents caused by these situations can cause damage to your new home made equipment or worse to what you connected it to. This month's project is the SAFE TEST BOX. The unit has a small glass fuse holder for the size fuse you select and an ON/OFF switch to turn it on. Plugs are provided to allow you to patch the SAFETY TEST BOX into the line you want with patch cords. Small fuse values can be used to run in series with the line to limit current. By selecting a larger fuse size you can protect equipment when hooking to a power supply. The SAFETY TEST BOX is easily built and is a nice addition to the test bench.

I will have the SAFETY TEST BOX at the meeting to show and answer questions on for those who wish to build up their own units.

James Butler KB4LJV


AND THE RAINS CAME...

Field Day 99 has come and gone, and to those that didn't make it to the site, you missed some fabulous barbecue, a really good time, and a free bath courtesy of Mother Nature. Oh, yeah, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, along with their 13 children visited us too.

Driving up to the site, you would have seen a crane with a 135-foot boom (courtesy of Apple Crane and Rigging, Inc.) with VHF antennas on top and under it the Tower Trailer and Tribander along with a MUCH appreciated portable building, courtesy of Morgan Buildings. Further inspection would have revealed a somewhat misshapen Tribander at the Novice/Tech station at the Gazebo. Murphy "goosed" the tower crew while it was being put up and some of the elements ... well, they ain't too straight any more! Fortunately, the 10 meter portion of the elements were not damaged and our intrepid N/T folks made a whopping 147 ISO's, bettering last year's record N/T performance. Thanks KD4TJ0, KF4QFW, KF4NDH, KC5SXT, KA4BUU and all the others that made the points.

Looking around the site, you couldn't have missed the EMA trailer and a fire truck with its 75-foot ladder extended, housing and holding up respectively, the CW station and the CW station's G5RV. One must breathe, and most salivated when they smelled KG4BVK's barbecue. Thanks, Rob, for the EMA trailer and thanks WA4OVO for the fire engine.

We had plans for a Publicity Station and had secured the call of N4D for it. KF4ZGJ was ready and KE4BUU made some great signs. Ever throw a party and nobody came -- well that's what happened with our Publicity Station. Most non-hams who came to Freeman Park for recreation and braved the elements, in addition to questioning our sanity (weather fit only for ducks, Labrador Retrievers and Newfoundlands, and hams on FD) did not stop by.

The "bench warmers" had to handle CW as neither of our "powerhouse" CW contesters could make it. However, KU4AW, K4DIT, and a few others - with MUCH help logging from KC5YIX and KE4UYU - made a most respectable 462 contacts. Who says the "little guys" can't pull it off!

HF Phone seemed to have the most problems of any of our stations, making only 663 ISO's. We noticed some major SWR problems that were intermittent and mistakenly attributed them to probable water in the tribander traps (There was water EVERYWHERE ELSE, so why not there too!). Turned out to be due to a corroded PL-259 connector on the end of the coax coming down from the tribander, BUT we didn't find it until we were taking the station down after the contest. Thanks to KB4KA, KB4NS, AA0BA, WM5Q (and family!), KB5SFV and the many others who with magnificent fortitude, incredible perseverance, and great magnanimity saw us through the GREAT FLOOD of 99!

Most Improved operation goes to our VHF station, which made 49 ISO's on 6 meter SSB and 2 meter FM. I found out after FD, that the highest sunspot number of the current cycle occurred on FD Saturday and this, no doubt, contributed to the 31 ISO's on 6-meter SSB. Ben and Eloise Barth called just about everybody in the club and asked them to listen for us on 146.49 and many of you did. Please accept our apologies for not having enough ops to effectively man the VHF station early Saturday afternoon. We do appreciate your efforts. Thanks to KU4AS and KB4NS for most of the VHF contacts.

Total score was 3,468 points and we are claiming another 700 points in bonus points. If we are allowed all our bonus points, our score should be 4,168. Unfortunately, we didn't get a bonus from Murphy's visit!

73 and C U at FD 2000, K4TTA


NO CODE TECH CLASS

On Saturday, August 28th there will be a one day class for no code technician theory at Methodist Hospital South. This class is open to anyone. Class will start at 8:30 am and will break for an hour lunch at 11:30. Class will resume at 12:30 and continue till 3 pm. when we will have an immediate VE testing session.

We are looking for volunteers to teach the class as well as VE's for the testing. If you can teach a segment, please contact me and if you can help with the VE testing, please contact Joan, KN4PM.

VE testing is open to anyone, not just the people in the class, however if you are planning to come and test for anything other than no code tech, please contact Joan and let her know in advance so that she can be sure to have enough VE's on hand.

73,

Melinda, KE4DXN


CONTEST CALENDAR

Here are a few of the contests coming up in the next few weeks...

Ten-Ten International Net Summer Phone Contest (phone only, 10 meters only)
0000Z Aug 7 to 2400Z Aug 8
Exchange call sign, name, state/country and ten-ten number (if member)

Amateur Radio Club Kid's Day
1700-2300Z Aug 7. 40 20 10 meters.
Exchange name, QTH, RST and club name

BUBBA Summer QRP Sprint
1800Z-2200Z Aug 29. CW only, 160 80 40 20 15 10 meters.
Exchange RST, state/province/country and Fahrenheit temperature at the operating position

For more info on August Contests check out the ARRL website at : www.arrl.org/contests/months/aug.html


DixieFest
The NEW Hamfest for the NEW Millenium
February 12-13, 2000
Shelby Co. Building at the Fairgrounds
Sat. 9-5 Sun. 9-2


Other Important Contacts

                                                                            VE Liaison                                  Membership Chairpersons
                                                                             Joan Thorne, KN4PM                 Ben Barth, KF4GNC
                                                                             737-5795                                     Eloise Barth, KF4GNB
                                                                             joant@mem.net                            eloiseb@aol.com
 
 


1999 Board of Directors

E-Mail Us...

Ben Troughton.............................................................President....................................................... bktrough@mem.net

Kurt Schropp..............................................................Vice President ...............................................kschropp@utmem1.utmem.edu

Kathy Troughton.........................................................Secretary........................................................ktrou@nb.utmem.edu

Don Mills....................................................................Treasurer .......................................................k9dm@arrl.net

Dick Cookenham........................................................Dir. of Training...............................................ECookenham@aol.com

Tommy Thompson......................................................Dir. of Publications.........................................melindat@home.net

Tom Richardson.........................................................Dir. of Programs ............................................duffer@ix.netcom.com

Eddie Trammel...........................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special Events...................kf4qfw@gateway.net

Bill Hancock...........................................................…Repeater Trustee ...........................................billwa4mjm@aol.com


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