DELTA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB


SPARKS
Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 12 / JUNE 2000

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


WE NEED YOUR HELP!

DARC Field Day 2000 May Be In Jeopardy

"Best laid plans" often show just how little you can count on things staying the same from one day to the next. Don Cook, KJ4PO, accepted the Field Day Chair, wanting to help and counting on his travel schedule to remain slack. Well, it didn't work out that way. He will be out of town most of the remaining time before Field Day. I felt the most expedient plan, given the six weeks left to the event, was for the Board to fill in as best as possible, to get Field Day rolling. They have all graciously agreed to help out, but there is a limit to just how much more spare time they can contribute. Field Day is an exercise in setting up a communication center for when disaster strikes, knowing that our radio communications could be the only link between the victims and ambulances, relief vehicles, rescue personnel, and even loved ones. But it takes practice to do this, to know how to set up a station on emergency power, be it generator or car battery, or what supplies to assemble to keep that station going throughout the night if necessary, or even building up a cadre of individuals that can be called upon who have had a bit of experience doing just that.

WE NEED YOU. Your time, more accurately, to help set up or tear down or operate a radio. We need you out there for as much time as you can spare. No one is asking you to stay out there for the duration, just a while.

WE NEED YOUR STRONG ARMS. It takes manpower to assemble an antenna, attach it to a mast, and raise the tower. We are not talking about one station, mind you. We could have at least three stations, and maybe more, to get up and running. We might have to put up tents, canopies, attach tarps to provide shade. Then we get to take everything DOWN. WE NEED PEOPLE.

WE NEED YOUR EQUIPMENT. That's right, your equipment. Just where do you think we were going to get all these things? We need radios, power supplies, antennas, towers, rotators (hello, Dom), shelters, big tents, tarps, computers, heavy duty extension cords, lamps, and more. Just think of everything you have in your shack. We need it at Field Day. I know if there were a real emergency, we could count on many Delta Amateur Radio Club members to pitch in with whatever is needed to help someone in need. Compassion and generosity are just two of the attributes that binds all hams together in times of need. My family was a recipient and we will never forget it. But we need to practice putting all the components together so we can help others should the occasion arise.

ONE LAST BENEFIT - All those participating in Field Day (and that applies to anyone who contributes anything, be it manpower, equipment, operation) and family are invited to join us for dinner Saturday evening at Freeman Park. I can't tell you the menu yet, whether it wll be cooked on site or catered in, but the fellowship has always been wonderful. Call any of the Board of Directors, or come to the June Club meeting, to schedule times of operation, to let someone know you'll be there for set-up and/or tear-down, to offer a piece of equipment. We'll take good care of it, I promise. But without YOU, there can't be a Field Day. The Board might be able to organize the event and even participate in it, but the Board is not enough.

WE NEED YOU.

Kathy, KE4UYU


PRESIDENT'S PAGE

You know how, sometimes, when you have a question, you can go around in circles trying to find a solution. Then, when you finally have sweated out the answer, you realize the easiest source of information was right in front of you all along. So, what is The Answer? The American Radio Relay League, of course. I know, I know. Just one more hand out asking for a membership fee. One more organization. And what are you getting to show for it? First of all, you don't have to join ARRL to reap many of the benefits it offers. Just get on your computer, connect to the internet, open your web browser, type in www.arrl.org and take a gander. You have at your fingertips access to a list of all of the publications, and the means to purchase them. There are publications on antennas, RF regulations and information, circuit designs, UHF/VHF, APRS, and other digital communications, satellites, callbooks, access to purchase stickers or decals, pins, logbooks, all types of instructional material if you teach, instructional material if you want to learn, interference manuals, handbooks...many more, go look. You can find out about licensing information, exam schedules in your area, and gain access to the entire question pool. You will find a list of contests that are approaching, awards available to hams for the contacts made, and special events that have been registered with the ARRL.

The ARRL publishes a weekly ARRL Letter that you can read on the web page, keeping you up to date on what our legislature is doing concerning amateur radio, for instance, or what other hams are doing. You can also read its Bulletins, and catch the Audio News as well. There are sites dedicated to news items specific to topics that are hot right now, such as RF regulations, threats to the amateur bands, the license restructuring, and the FCC amateur radio enforcement logs. It's just like any other web site, with search capability and an index, if you want to go directly to the information you need. So, I get all that without joining, you say. If I get all that for FREE, why should I pay a membership fee? Because you get even MORE. You will receive a subscription to QST, a monthly magazine so packed with information about everything - events, contests, legislation important to you, equipment reviews, tips written by hams for hams, how-to articles, manufacturers - hams have been keeping these magazines as a reference guide for years. You will have access to a Members-Only web page that offers you even more exclusive news, photos, and reviews. It also makes available a Technical Information Service, where questions of a technical nature can be addressed and answered by expert Technical Coordinators and Specialists in the field. You will also be eligible for ARRL sponsored insurance on your equipment, at prices far lower than anywhere else. Protect your investment easily and affodably. You will be able to renew your subscription on-line and be notified when your license needs to be renewed. Your ARRL Membership helps fund the representation of your interests in Washington DC, supports the Volunteer Examiner Coordinator program and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, supports W1AW which offers code practice and tests, and bulletins, plus many more services and benefits. I haven't even begun to do justice to the ARRL in relating all the benefits it can offer you. At this club's meeting, a display will be set up with plenty of flyers describing many of the benefits that you can take advantage of with ARRL. Pick them up, take them home, read them over at your leisure. Even if you only take advantage of only one or two of the many services ARRL offers, it's an incredible bargain.

Kathy, KE4UYU


FIELD DAY FOOD

Everyone who has ever participated in a DARC field day knows that our Saturday evening meal is a BIG event. We always have a really good time, delicious food, and wonderful fellowship. This year will be no exception.

Traditionally our Saturday evening meal is for any DARC member and their families who PARTICIPATE in field day. What does that mean? Participation in field day consists of either helping to set-up, operating, or helping to teardown. Doing any or all of these things get you and your family a free meal at field day. If you are unable to participate in one of these ways and you would still enjoy coming out for the meal, a donation of $5.00 per person and putting your name on the list in advance is all you need. Announcements will be made on the nets. The net control operators will be taking a list of all who plan to attend. Let the operator know if you will be attending the Saturday night meal, how many will attend with you, and if you will be setting up, operating, or tearing down or if you will be participating by way of a donation. We realize there are any number of reasons that can keep someone from the "usual participation". Some people are not physically able to participate, others cannot participate due to their jobs, and others have previous commitments. We still want to see you at field day and enjoy your company.

In order to assure we have enough food for everyone we have to have a final count of how many will be attending. If you will be eating Saturday evening at field day you must put your name on the reservation list as well as how you will be participating by June 21, 2000. We must have your RSVP by the 21st, the Wednesday before field day.

As we traditionally do we are asking everyone to bring a dessert. I have been told this is the very best part, the part of field day some people look forward to the most. We will see you at field day. Plan on being part of all the fun.

73, Melinda


From: The ARRL Letter
Vol. 19, No. 21
May 26, 2000

DAYTON 2000: HAMVENTION-CONVENTION 2000 A HIT!

Amateur Radio's upbeat mood spilled over into Dayton Hamvention 2000, which hosted the ARRL National Convention. Early indications were that the three-day event, which ended Sunday, attracted more than 30,000 visitors for the first time in its history.

"This appears to be the largest Hamvention in history," Great Lakes ARRL Director George Race, WB8BGY, announced last Saturday. Hamvention General Chairman Jim Graver, KB8PSO, said this week that the official Hamvention attendance had not yet been determined. Hamvention weather cooperated for the most part with partly sunny to overcast skies and generally cool temperatures.

Sales counters were busy. Several dealers reported running out of popular items well before the end of Hamvention. Hamvention banquet speaker Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, exhorted his audience to work toward making the Amateur Radio Service the finest radio service ever. Hollingsworth, who's the FCC's special counsel for amateur radio enforcement, reiterated that the Commission is in the enforcement business to stay.

"To work with you in restoring the Amateur Radio Service to its rightful place in the American communications infrastructure is the greatest privilege of my professional and personal life," Hollingsworth told the banquet audience.

Jim Haynie, W5JBP, attended Dayton Hamvention for the first time in his role as the League's new president. "These are extremely exciting times for Amateur Radio," he told those attending the ARRL Forum Saturday. "I hope y'all are as excited about our future as much as I am, because if you are, we can do nothing but win."

Haynie discussed the broad parameters of "The Big Project"--his ham radio in the schools initiative that would offer a turnkey curriculum in Amateur Radio as well as equipment for use in middle school classrooms. Haynie said he plans to have the program, funded by corporate and foundation grants, in place by the end of 2001.

ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, flew in from Istanbul, Turkey, just to attend the League's National Convention. Sumner has been on the International Amateur Radio Union team representing Amateur Radio interests at the World Radio-communication Conference 2000. During his "Vision for Amateur Radio's Future" on Saturday, Sumner noted that Amateur Radio's demographic peaks in the late 40s or early 50s. "This is the 'baby boom' moving through the system," he said. "The point of entry for Amateur Radio today is not principally teenage, as it perhaps was 30 or 35 years ago." Sumner said today's technology has opened Amateur Radio's once "unique window on the world" to many outside the hobby, especially those on the Internet. That trend will continue, he predicted, as telecommunication costs drop. In the future, the population that got into ham radio as a cheap personal communication service will no longer be attracted to the hobby, he said. "The effect of that is that the licensing figures likely will go down." He predicted a precipitous drop in the number of Amateur Radio licensees in the US starting in 2001, when many licenses of those who had entered the hobby a decade earlier as a part of the initial flurry of code-free Technicians expire. But he doesn't see that as a major negative for ham radio--just indicative of a shift in focus of the participants.

Sumner said he's seen a higher regard for disaster communications capabilities of Amateur radio at WRC-2000 than he'd seen at other recent conferences. "A low-technology solution to disaster communications is not a bad thing, it's s a good thing," he said. "All you need is two hams and it will work." Sumner said if a proposed "harmonized" worldwide allocation at 7 MHz ever is approved at a future World Radiocommunication Conference, it will not be because of DXing or contesting but because of disaster communications capability.

Sumner said Amateur Radio will continue to have a role in scientific investigations. And he said personal achievement and accomplishment will continue to provide an incentive to be a part of Amateur Radio in the future. "Lest we forget," he said, "it's supposed to be fun."

At Dayton Hamvention, Yaesu introduced its Model V FT-1000MP HF transceiver, which features 200 W output and several improvements over the original MP platform. The radio could be on the market by month's end. Kenwood also had a developmental all-band, all-mode transceiver on display. Elecraft debuted its K1 transceiver kit, a two-band, low-power unit aimed at backpackers and travelers. Ten Tec introduced its Pegasus FP (for "front panel") HF transceiver, a desktop version of its popular PC-controlled Pegasus. A new player, Mobat Communication--a partnership of Motorola and Bartal--introduced its MICOM H transceiver, a computer-programmable DSP-based HF radio.

W1AW/8 QSL info: QSL cards for the Dayton Hamvention-ARRL National Convention 2000 special event station W1AW/8 go to W8BI, Box 44, Dayton, OH 45401. Cards should not be sent to ARRL Headquarters for this operation since the logs are in Dayton.


THE ULTIMATE ELMER!

There's an old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Well, folks, try this. How about a cram course in just about every aspect of amateur radio, including antennas, operating, station construction, propagation, HF and VHF operation, SSB and CW operation, Digital operation, and more -- all of this FREE, including hands-on experience and a great meal. Now if you don't want to miss this fantastic opportunity, be sure to sign-up and come to Field Day the last full weekend in June. This is the "biggie" operating event for Delta Club and hope to see you there.

We've had several folks sign up for training classes and hopefully they will begin in July. Get some study materials and utilize the internet sample tests on qrz.com and AA9PW webpages. Links to these are on the Delta Club web page.

73 and think Field Day!

Tom, K4TTA


VE CORNER

Last month I wrote that patience was the virtue needed by all those taking any tests with the restructuring changes. This was especially true for the April 11th testing session. The internet licenses were posted just the Wednesday before our May meeting (three weeks and one day from taking the exams). Amazingly, though, the actual paperwork, i.e. the license, was in hand the following Monday, just in time for anyone wanting to take another exam for upgrade.

The April 15thsession is another matter. The ARRL-VEC has served nearly 35,800 applicants between January 1 and April 14th. There have been nearly 16,000 applicants from April 15th through April 25th. As of this writing, Monday May 15th, that session has yet to be posted. I know that many of you are awaiting the upgrade so that you can apply for that vanity call sign. There is nothing I can do but keep that ever faithful eye on the internet and let you know when I have found the listing.

On May 9th I thought I might have a reprieve from the previous busy months, but you, the ham community have been studying the new questions pools! We had 18 people take 12 elements and have welcomed 4 new technicians, 5 new generals, and 9 new extra class people to our group. The technicians will have to wait for their call signs to appear though before they can operate. The ARRL is saying that it is taking about 4 weeks from the date of testing - I think it may be more like 5 - 6 with the way the paperwork seems to be going.

A big THANK YOU to Barry N4QW and Tom K4TTA for helping with this session. Keep up the good work and keep on upgrading. Hopefully the ARRL and all the other VEC groups will eventually get all the paperwork under hand and we will get back to the one week turn around very soon! See you at the June meeting on the 13th.

73, Joan KN4PM
ARRL VE Liaison
kn4pm@arrl.net


RECENT UPGRADES


The W4BS Elmer Shack

Please feel free to contact any of our ELMERS to help you enhance your amateur skills. Anyone wishing to be added to the Elmer list please contact Arlene at A5GX@aol.com or 385-0995.

K4TTA (Extra) Tom Richardson 386-6268 k4tta@arrl.net (1,3,4,6,8,9,13,14)
KA4BLL (Gen) Ned Savage 363-9607 nssavage@juno.com (1,5,8,14, MARS, ARES/RACES, net control, traffic handling, emergency service)
KB4LJV (Extra) James Butler 294-2540 (2,7,9,11,13,14)
KD4NOQ (Adv) David Campbell 388-6166 kd4noq@juno.com (1,2,3,5,9,10,14, slow scan TV, ATV minor)
KU4AW (Extra) Ben Troughton 372-8031 bktrough@mem.net (2,4,8)
N9ACQ (Extra) Bill Kuechler 368-0532 wkuechl1@midsouth.rr.com (1,8,13)
WA2IQC (Gen) Gary Blinckmann 794-5289 garyblin@midsouth.rr.com (1,7,10,14)
WA4MJM (Extra) Bill Hancock 853-7192 billwa4mjm@aol.com (1,2,8, emergency communications, ARES,MARS)
WM5Q (Extra) Paul Cline 385-0995 wm5q@arrl.net (7,8,10,14, RF safety, spread spectrum, trouble shooting, soldering, electromagnetic compatibility, CFR47 rules/regs.)
K4DIT (Gen) Ken Gregg 853-7384 k4dit@arrl.net (4,6,8,11)

Codes:

1. Antennas
2. APRS
3. Contesting
4. CW Operating
5. Direction Finding(fox hunting)
6. DXing
7. Experimenting/Circuits/etc.
8. HF Phone
9. Packet
10. Repeater Operation
11. QRP
12. Satellite
13. RTT
14. VHF


PACKET UPDATE

Many times we look for new projects to build. Many articles and books have been written on ham radio projects. One good book is an ARRL publication for homebrew ham projects. The title is 33 Simple Weekend Projects. The book has projects for ham radio accessories, antenna projects and radio projects to build. The book is well done and has some interesting projects.

This book would make a good addition to your ham library and is available at the ARRL bookstore for about $16.00.

James Butler, KB4LJV


AMATEUR HARDWARE UPDATE

One useful accessory for working on radio equipment is a RF ATTENUATOR. This test equipment will reduce an RF signal from an on the air source or RF generator to a lower level to allow for testing receiver sensitivity and going through alignment procedures. The unit I built up is a surplus military unit that runs on 12 Volts D.C. I mounted the unit in an old computer disk drive case and reused the disk drive power supply to run the attenuator circuit. By adding connectors, Power LED, a rotary switch to select the amount of attenuation this piece of test equipment was completed.

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

SEE YOU AT THE MEETING

James Butler, KB4LJV


CONTEST CALENDAR

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

ARRL June VHF QSO Party. June 10 -1 2. See your May QST page 83.

TOEC WW Grid Contest, sponsored by the Top of Europe Contesters. SSB 1200Z June 10 to 1200Z June 11. (CW 1200Z August 26 to 1200Z August 27.) http://www.qsl.net/toec/grid.htm

ANARTS WW RTTY / Digital Contest, sponsored by Australian National Amateur Radio Teleprinter Society. All digital modes, 0000Z June 10 to 2359Z June 11 (48 hours). 80 40 20 15 10 meters. ctdavies@one.net.au.

SMIRK 2000 QSO Party, sponsored by the Six Meter International Radio Klub. 0000Z June 17 until 2400Z June 18. Six meters only. http://www.smirk.org/

All-Asian DX Contest, CW, sponsored by the Japan Amateur Radio League. 0000Z June 17 until 2400Z June 18.

West Virginia QSO Party, sponsored by the West Virginia State ARC, from 1800Z-2400Z June 17. n8fmd@neumedia.net

ARRL Field Day. June 24 - 25. See your May QST, page 84.

W1AW Qualifying Runs are 10 PM EDT Thursday, June 1, and 7 PM EDT Friday, June 16.

The K6YR West Coast Qualifying Run will be at 9 PM PDT on Wednesday, June 7 with 10-40 WPM runs. Check the W1AW schedule for details.George Fremin III, K5TR -- 624 Lost Oak Trail, Johnson City, TX 78636 -- k5tr@arrl.org

For more information on these and other contests in June, please visit the ARRL contest page on the internet at: www.arrl.org/contests/months/june.html


JUNE 13
CLUB MEETING

7365 HWY. 70
( 2 miles east of Hwy. 64-Stage Rd. )

BARTLETT, TN

MEETING STARTS AT 7:00 PM

The June program will about Field Day
Plans and Preparations


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.


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

443.20 patch, 107.2

145.03 packet / bbs


Other Important Contacts

                                                                            VE Liaison                                  Membership Chairpersons
                                                                             Joan Thorne, KN4PM                 Ben Barth, AF4TV
                                                                             737-5795                                    Eloise Barth, AF4TW
                                                                           joant@mem.net                          eloiseb@aol.com
 
 


2000 Board of Directors

E-Mail Us...

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

Melinda Thompson......................................................Vice President ...............................................melindat@mem.net

Tommy Thompson ......................................................Secretary.......................................................kd4tjo@arrl.net

Bob Holford................................................................Treasurer .......................................................kf4ndh@bellsouth.net

Tom Richardson..........................................................Dir. of Training...............................................k4tta@arrl.net

Ken Gregg..................................................................Dir. of Publications.........................................k4dit@arrl.net

Freddy Bratton...........................................................Dir. of Programs ............................................ftbratton@mailcity.com

Gerry Bailey...............................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special Events...................n9scj@juno.com

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


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