DELTA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 13 / JUNE 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
It’s hard to believe that we are almost half way through 1999.
In a couple of weeks we will once again be gathering for that annual event
called Field Day. However, just a couple of weeks prior to this event,
Delta Club is going to have an event of their own, a Special Event week-end.
On Saturday, June 12th, we will be setting up a station at the Navy base.
Thanks to Dick Cookenham, K3ORS, and Ed Trammell, KF4QFW, we will have
our second consecutive Special Event. This is a perfect time for
those of you that have an interest, or may be just a little mystified about
HF operation to get your “hands wet” so to speak. There are no contest
rules to worry about, no need to try and make as many contacts as you can,
it’s an opportunity for you to sit down at an HF rig, spin the dial, make
a contact or two, and enjoy the camaraderie of other amateurs. It’s
a time to “ragchew” both in person and on the air.
To make this even more exciting, Dick and Ed have made arrangements to have our Special Event listed in the June issue of QST. There are a lot of amateurs out there that thoroughly enjoy working different Special Events, in fact many of them try to get Worked All States (WAS) by working only Special Event stations.
So, if you have an interest, or you want to hone your operating skills in preparation for Field Day, then come on out to our Special Event Station on June 12th. For more information about the event, contact Dick, K3ORS, or Ed, KF4QFW, I’m sure they would be happy to sign you up to operate. Also, if you don’t have
an interest in operating, we could use all the help we can get to setup and tear down the trailer and station equipment. We won’t turn anyone away.
As I eluded to earlier, Field Day 1999 comes right on the heels of our Special Event. From the reports that Tom, K4TTA, has made at our Board of Director meetings and e-mails that I have received from him in the interim periods, this is going to be one Field Day we won’t soon forget. I’m not going to steal all Tom’s
thunder, but he has made some mighty nice improvements to this years Field Day event. As most of you recall, we have always setup in the park area across from the Pig N Whistle restaurant, and every year we complain about the heat and lack of shade. Well, “Tom to the rescue.” If those of you that came out to our
Special Event station last year will recall, we setup in the gazebo which was is in the shaded area of Freeman Park. This year we will be closer to the facilities, no longer will you have to don a canteen of water, put on your hiking shoes, and trek across “no man’s land” to get to the rest rooms. Now the facilities will be just a
stone’s throw away from where we will be operating. Just one last comment about Field Day and I’ll move on. As we all know, when operating VHF/UHF the key to getting a good signal out is how high you can get your antenna. Well, without giving anything away, let me say that this year’s VHF Station’s antenna is going
to be mounted on something that is taller than a breadbox, but lower than a FedEx MD-11 flying at 35,000 feet. And this is just one of the new twists that will be at this year’s Field Day.
So, mark the last full week-end in June down on your calendar, start oiling up that CW Fist, brush the cobwebs off the HF rig and start honing up your HF skills. We’re going to have one mighty fine Field Day operation come rain or shine.
At the May Board of Director’s meeting one of the topics of discussion was the annual Delta Club picnic. For those of you that are new to the club, each year in the month of September we all gather at a site in Shelby Farms to enjoy the culmination of Summer, flaunt ours, or our spouses culinary skills, and just enjoy a week-end afternoon talking with friends, operating a little QRP on 20 and 40 meters, playing volleyball (you better watch out for Nancy Morrow, cause if you thought the NBA had a draft, you ain’t seen nothing until you see Nancy recruit you to play volleyball!!!!!). It’s a time to bring the rest of the family out to meet those folks that you get up at the crack of dawn with to drive to Jackson, MS or Huntsville, AL to a hamfest.
As we get closer to September, and plans are finalized, we’ll be putting more information in SPARKS to let you know where and when we’re having our annual Delta Club picnic.
During the month of May, I received an e-mail from an amateur from the UK, Robin Harris, G4GIY. He indicated that he was going to be in Memphis on business, he works for Smith-Nephew, and he would be spending about two weeks every month here for the next six months. He was interested in attending any club
events that we had going and wanted to meet some of the best amateurs in the mid-south. I made arrangements to meet Robin at the “Candy Store on Saturday, May 15th. That Saturday Kathy and I spent the entire morning talking with Robin and introducing him to a number of amateurs, the “Saturday Regulars”.
We talked about our various interests in amateur radio and he indicated that he was very interested in QRP operation. Of course names like Jim Cissell, KI4I, and Mike Cloud, KR4IT, were mentioned to wet his whistle just a bit. And my eyes lit up when he said that he was an avid CW buff.
On Sunday afternoon Robin came over to my shack and we sat down and spun the dial on my Kenwood TS570 and listened to 15, 17, and 20 meters to see what activity might be out there. Well, the bands were in relatively good shape and so we heard a couple GU stations and a couple DE stations coming in. Robin had
never had the opportunity to hear what the HF bands sounded like from this side of the “big pond.”
Before Robin returned to the UK, we made plans for a Sked on 17 meters
for Saturday, May 22nd. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you if we were
successful in hooking up with each other since this article was written
the day before, but I know that we will be having a regular Sked with Robin
from here on out. I sent
out an e-mail with the date, time, and frequency that we were planning to work. So in the future I will do that again. Anyone out there that’s interested in getting involved with working a station from the UK just let me know. The more folks we can get on the air with Robin the more fun it will be.
Well, once again I have rambled on and on. It’s time to bring this months article to a close or Tommy, KD4TJO, will have to have SPARKS bound because of the size. There’s a lot of activity coming up in Delta Club and we’re going to need a lot of help. I look forward to seeing a lot of you at the Special Event station,
Field Day, the picnic, and at the monthly meetings.
From The Vice President
From the VP
I just wanted to thank everyone who bought Cokes and coolers last meeting and made donations. We netted about $50 and plan to have this as a permanent fundraiser, each meeting. For those of you not there, ice cold Cokes are $1 by themselves or $2.50 with a holder/cooler. Please continue to support this effort!
I would also like to thank those who brought forward ideas for fund-raisers last meeting. They were all great ideas and we will be seeing some of these as the months progress. In addition, I need to thank everyone in DARC for intensifying their efforts toward fundraising and utilizing to its fullest extent our classification
as a charitable organization.
Lastly, I would like to encourage everyone to "keep your eyes open" for fundraising opportunities. You never know when one of these may really pay off. Also, please get me names at your place of work for a contact person for solicitation letters. I won't use your name, and it is an easy way to get bucks without coming out of your pocket! Thank you.
7365 HWY. 70
MEETING STARTS AT 7:00 PM
As with all June programs this month's is on FIELD DAY!
THINK FIELD DAY!
As in the past, our June program will be the membership meeting for our final planning for Field Day 1999. Be sure to do your best to attend, as this is the Field Day Captains' last chance to try to tie up all the loose ends and get the last "odds and ends" that we will need for this year's event.
C U there,
Public Service Update
In following last month's article, I'd like to thank those members that assisted with the 1999 Memphis in May Triathalon. The date was Sunday May 23 and it started pretty early for those that helped.
Our volunteers began assembling at Edmund Orgill Park in Millington
about 6 am in preparation for a 7:30 am race start. For those that
aren't familiar with the Triathalon, the Memphis in May event starts with
a 1.5K swim then transitions to a 40K bike course and finishes with a 10K
run. Anybody want to sign up for the
event next year? Not me!!
We set up a net control station with a j-pole about 20 ft. up and a 2 meter mobile rig on a marine battery. Conditions were very good that morning for working the event on simplex. As Tom, K4TTA was taking a radio check roll call, he had a station from Alabama check into our race net....not bad. Tom's always looking
to work a little DX. We had a very good event with minimal numbers of injuries to the participants or their bikes.
The first male participant finished the course in 1:49:31 while the
second place was taken by a local gentleman from Cordova, TN in a time
of 1:49:42 and the first female athlete finished with a time of 1:58:29
but all these folks are considered "pros."
The "pros" for amateur radio communications support were:
Sylvia Greene, KE4WOT
Robert Greene, KE4HFH
Dan Hoffman, N4VWM
Bill Covington, KC4SXT
Tom Richardson, K4TTA
Ned Savage, KA4BLL
Joe Lowenthal, WA4OVO
Terry Cox, KB4KA
Rick Bonds, KE4NTI
Mike Richardson, KG4BVK
Bob Holdford, KF4NDH
Thanks to all these folks for their time and talents....
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.
The British Are Coming
Well it seems like history is repeating itself. A little over 200 years ago we had to run them off and now they are back to see what all the hype is about when it comes to something they don't have. That something is severe weather.
Actually, by the time you read this, they will have come and gone. The BBC, British Broadcasting Company, has been in the area with three crews doing a story for The Discovery Channel on Storm Chasing and the SKYWARN program. One crew rode with a Brit that won a trip with a Storm Chase Tour company in Oklahoma, one crew went with VORTEX99, the NSSL chase teams, and one was in the Mid-South due to all the severe weather we have had over the last year.
I was contacted earlier this year to talk to them about Storm Chasing in the Mid-South. The Discovery Channel does a story similar to this every year and I think it is an honor that they wanted to do the SKYWARN part of the story in the Mid-South. I think that their decision was based a lot on how our Skywarn program is structured and how successful it operates. I have been chasing storms for almost 12 years now. During that time, I have been chasing in many areas of the United States and I can truthfully say that we have one of the best SKYWARN programs in the Country. I have chased all over the "alley", listened to many nets, and called in reports to most of them, so I can speak from experience.
A few years ago I got out of radio for other reasons and since I have gotten back in a lot has changed. A long time ago, most of the people outside of Shelby County felt like their reports were not welcome into the Shelby County SKYWARN Net, but now it is a lot different. I can truly say I am glad to be a part of the
In closing this rambling I would like to stress that storm chasing is dangerous. For those of you who want to see what it's like, I suggest you get with someone that is an experienced storm chaser and someone that you trust for your first few outings. But always be safe and stay South.
Editors Note: Since this issue is in your hands after these folks have come and gone, we hope to have a more detailed article about their visit in next month's SPARKS.
FCC Spikes Restructuring Rumors at Dayton
The big FCC announcement about Amateur Radio license restructuring that many hams erroneously had been expecting at the Dayton Hamvention turned out to be that there would be no announcement. Speaking to a packed house at the Sunday FCC forum at Dayton Hamvention, Bill Cross, W3TN, of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau spiked rumors that the FCC would have something substantive to say at Dayton about Amateur Radio restructuring, WT Docket 98-143. "I can confirm without reservation that the rumors that have been flying fast and furious as to what the Commission has decided or will decide are just rumors," he said. According to Cross, the Commission had not decided anything as of May 13.
Cross said the FCC received 2250 comments from the amateur community in the proceeding. Comments have been read and filed, he said. Some comments continue to straggle in, although the deadline passed in January. Cross offered his take on what the FCC might do, inferring that the Commission would propose
either three or four license classes, no more, no less.
Based on the comments received, Cross said, many hams believe amateur examinations are not testing on the correct information. He invited hams to suggest questions to the Question Pool Committee; the body that comes up with the questions that appear on amateur exams. Suggested questions go to QPC Chairman Ray Adams, W4CPA, 6702 Matterhorn Ct, Knoxville TN 37918-6314. A copy to Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, ARRL VEC, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111, would be appreciated.
Cross said comments on Morse code testing standards "drew the most passionate responses." The League has suggested 5 WPM and 12 WPM testing tiers. Cross said those expecting a new top speed above 20 WPM would be disappointed, but he offered no other predictions on how the Commission might act on the CW
Cross also said the Universal Licensing System would be going into effect for Amateur Radio later this year, and it will incorporate the vanity call sign program. The system will replace the venerable Form 610 series with a new, inclusive electronic document known as Form 605. ULS will permit amateurs to file applications, modifications or renewals via the Internet. Individual hams will not be required to file electronically, however. He encouraged hams to register for the ULS.
League Urges FCC to Expedite Restructuring
The ARRL has urged the FCC to act "without delay" on Amateur Radio restructuring and has suggested that the Commission adopt the League's restructuring plan as its own in order to speed up the process. In a May 19 letter to the FCC, the League said that the state of limbo created by the current FCC Amateur Radio
restructuring proceeding, WT Docket 98-143, is stifling Amateur Radio's growth, as current and prospective hams await an FCC Report and Order.
The League asked the FCC to adopt the League's restructuring plan in a Report and Order "at the earliest possible time."
The ARRL told the FCC that its comprehensive plan of four license classes and two Morse code testing tiers--5 WPM and 12 WPM--plus refarming of the Novice/Technician Plus HF CW subbands "constitutes a reasonable middle ground proposal." The ARRL's restructuring proposal formed the core of the League's
comments to the FCC on WT 98-143, which the FCC refers to as the Part 97 Biennial Review.
Both the FCC and ARRL proposals would eliminate the Novice and Tech Plus licenses. The ARRL's letter stressed that "refarming" of the Novice class subbands was "the most critical portion of the League's comprehensive plan, or, indeed, of any license restructuring plan the Commission may adopt." The League said refarming was essential to make room for anticipated additional licensees using SSB HF subbands. In addition, the League said, refarming "is absolutely necessary to preserve and enhance the incentive self-training program" and to ensure more efficient use of limited HF allocations. Under the League's plan, General, Advanced, and Extra class licensees would get additional HF spectrum for phone operation.
The League said that adopting its restructuring plan in toto was"the best means of accomplishing increased growth in the Amateur Service" and of continuing Amateur Radio's value as a "cornerstone of telecommunications development."
The League also took the opportunity to express appreciation for the support for the Amateur Service by both FCC Chairman William Kennard and WTB Chief Thomas Sugrue and to thank the FCC for the renewed enforcement efforts of Compliance and Information Bureau Chief Richard Lee and CIB Legal Advisor Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH.
From the ARRL Letter, Vol. 18, No. 21 and reprinted here with permission.
AMATEUR PACKET UPDATE....
Amateurs are always looking for new equipment to use in their hobby.
Icom has just moved up another level with their new mobile dual band radio.
The new Icom IC-2800H mobile has a faceplate that detaches from the radio.
While this in itself is not new the display is. The face contains a built
in color LCD TV screen.
The radio functions and frequency information is displayed on the small TV. Icom has also included a dedicated packet connection port to the radio. With 50 watts out max on two meter and 35 watts on 440 the rig can work packet or repeaters with the best of other mobiles.
The best thing about the new display is the NTSC Composite Video input jack on the display. This allows putting the packet screen on the display with laptops or home computers that generate a composite video signal. You could also hook up a TV tuner and watch TV or weather updates from TV stations in the field. This is a neat new feature from Icom and will probably be featured on other rigs in the future. If you a looking for a new rig with video display capability check out the new IC-2800H from Icom.
James Butler, KB4LJV
AMATEUR HARDWARE UPDATE...
Many times we can have interference problems with our radio equipment.
The problem gets worse as manufacturers of consumer electronics cut cost
on their equipment they sell. These home appliances and electronics can
generate RF that can get into the AC power lines radiating RF or following
the lines right to our radio equipment.
This month's project is the EMI TEST FIXTURE. It uses an EMI filter sold by electronics firms to block RF from entering through the power lines of an appliance. The filter is a LC filter designed to let 60 HZ power through but blocks RF from getting back into the line. The fixture I built allows you to plug in the suspect appliance to check and see if the problem is fixed. A permanent filter can then be installed in the device.
The EMI TEST FIXTURE is easy to build and allows testing and troubleshooting of noise problems. I will have the EMI TEST FIXTURE 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
THE QUIET BEFORE THE STORM...
As I write this clip for SPARKS, Field Day 1999 is 32 days away. Most of the gear has been lined up, the press releases have been sent out, a training session has been done and another will be June 12th at the Special Event Station at the Millington NAS. About 50 people have signed up to do one thing or another -
in some cases, SEVERAL different things, all in an effort to make Field Day 1999 Delta Club's best ever. We have a broad spectrum of participants from the club, from old-timers to new op's; and I want to thank everyone who is a part of the 1999 Field Day effort for all your work, thus far.
By the time you read this (if you are in Bartlett, Field Day may have come and gone!!!), your FD captains will have had several meetings to plan stations and strategy. One of the major problems with FD 1998 was the heat. We currently have air-conditioned operating positions for three of our five stations and are working on getting air-conditioned accommodations for our Novice/Tech station also. We have a commitment from the Shelby County EMA for their command post trailer to be there. Morgan Buildings has also agreed to loan us a portable office building, and we also have a commitment from Apple Crane and Rigging to loan us a crane with a 90 foot boom to put the VHF antennas on. We'll have tribanders and towers up for the HF CW, the HF Phone and the Novice/Tech station. Consideration is being given to operating in the high power category as we have some kW amplifiers available also.
If you plan to operate HF phone and need some training in HF contesting, be sure to come to the Special Event Station June 12th. You DO NOT have to be licensed as a General class or above to operate, as we will have Extra Class control ops available at the HF phone station throughout the contest. If you've never tried HF phone, come on and get your feet wet at the Special Event station.
Even if you can't come out to the Gazebo at Freeman Park for Field Day on June 26th and 27th, you can still help the club effort by contacting the Field Day stations. With an antenna up at about 100 feet, we should be able to cover all of the club's geographical area on 2 mtr FM. I hope EVERY club member that does not operate from the W4BS field day stations will contact the VHF station on 2 meters. We will be listening on 146.52, 146.49 and 146.46. If you also operate HF, be sure to listen for us and work us on as many bands as you can.
We have the operators; we have the equipment; and we are finalizing the plans to enable Delta Club to have a "Top Ten" finish in Category 2a. With everyone's help and participation, we'll get there.
73 and Think Field Day,
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
ARRL VHF QSO Party
1800 UTC June 12 to 0300 UTC June 14
Exchange Grid Square (Signal Report is optional)
Kid's Day Operating Event
1800-2400 UTC June 19
Exchange name, age, location and favorite color. Suggested freqs are: 28.350 to 28.400 and 14.270 to
No scoring. All participants will receive a certificate.
West Virginia QSO Party
1800-2400Z Jun 19
Work stations once/band/mode, no repeater
QSOs. 160 80 40 20 15 10 6 2 meters.
Begins 1800 UTC Saturday, ends 2100 UTC Sunday
For more info on June Contests check out the ARRL website at :
Other Important Contacts
Field Day Chairman
Tom Richardson, K4TTA Joan Thorne, KN4PM Ben Barth, KF4GNC
386-6268 737-5795 Eloise Barth, KF4GNB
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
1999 Board of Directors
Ben Troughton.............................................................President....................................................... email@example.com
Kurt Schropp..............................................................Vice President ...............................................firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Mills....................................................................Treasurer .......................................................email@example.com
Dick Cookenham........................................................Dir. of Training...............................................ECookenham@aol.com
Tommy Thompson......................................................Dir. of Publications.........................................firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Richardson.........................................................Dir. of Programs ............................................email@example.com
Eddie Trammel...........................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special Events...................firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Morrow...........................................................…Repeater Trustee ...........................................email@example.com