Monte Bateman, WB5RZX . . . . . President
Dave Johnson, KB5YIW . . . . . . Vice President
Gayle Rhodes, KC5HGJ . . . . . . . Secretary
Chuck Broadwell, W5UXH . . . . Treasurer
At the May meeting, I will entertain a motion to elect all four of these people to the indicated offices. If this motion passes, they will be elected. If the motion fails, then nominations will be accepted from the floor and votes taken on each individual office.
--- Dave Finley, N1IRZ, President
Micro Computer Concepts (the maker of our controller) provided us with a new CPU programmed with the most recent software version. With the installation of this new CPU, the last of the problems related to the controller were eliminated. Of special note for users of the repeater is that the "battery backup flag" is now operational. Whenever the repeater is on emergency power, the regular ID string (AA5RH/R) will be followed by a pause and the letter "B". This indicates that the repeater is operating on emergency (battery) power, and that incidental use should be curtailed to conserve the emergency capabilities of the facility.
The squelch tail has been lengthened to about 5 sec. (after the courtesy beep). The intent is to encourage users to pickup the next transmission before the squelch drops. Doing so will reduce the number of on/off cycles that the transmitter and relays are subjected to, and increase the life of the repeater.
--- Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
The first new rig comes from Icom. It's the IC-706, and it's a combination HF/VHF mobile rig covering 160 to 2 meters. That excites me because it represents the answer to a need for an all-mode rig that covers not only HF but also six and two meters. I think it's a recognition by Icom of the wide-ranging interests of today's amateurs.
I hope the IC-706 gets more hams on SSB and CW on six and two. There's a world of excitement on these two VHF bands that is not to be found with FM-only radios. I hope it also helps break down the barriers between HF and VHF that exist in many people's minds. I think the introduction of this rig is a good sign that these things will happen.
The other new radio is similar to Icom's. It also is a mobile, all-mode HF/VHF rig, covering 160 to 6 meters. With the exception of the VHF coverage, both it and the new Icom are similar to small, mobile rigs already on the market from Kenwood and Yaesu. So what's new about it? It comes from a manufacturer completely new to the HF market --- Alinco. We're all familiar with Alinco VHF and UHF rigs, but now they've entered the market for HF rigs.
These two new radios, along with added offerings from established marketers, such as the nice new 2m mobile from Radio Shack, are a sign of the renewed strength of Amateur Radio in the U.S. They are on the market because ham radio is a strong, growing force in this country. Manufacturers are now putting more effort into providing us with exciting new equipment. Hopefully, as they sell more units, the variety of equipment offerings will increase --- and the prices will decrease. This will make ham radio more interesting and affordable for all of us.
We're rightfully proud of how much ham radio has grown right here in Socorro, thanks to our licensing classes, local VE sessions, and the dedicated members of SARA. The same thing is happening across the country, and together, we're all making ham radio a more vigorous and exciting place to be. The new offerings by radio manufacturers are solid confirmation that our efforts are paying off.
Every ham with a Technician or higher license can get in on this fun. You don't have to be limited to working only those hams who can hit the local repeater with their HTs. You can work stations hundreds or even thousands of miles away and chase awards such as Worked All States or the VHF-UHF Century Club.
This is an excellent time to expand your radio horizons. Try out VHF weak-signal work.
More than 100 hams helped in this effort, which supported emergency and relief workers from a wide variety of agencies.
The Oklahoma City bombing might not, at first, seem like the type of emergency that would require amateur assistance. It occurred in the middle of a modern city, and the power and essential services remained intact even in the immediate area. However, according to the ARRL, telephone circuits were "jammed and often inoperative" during the first hours after the blast. An amateur coordination network remained on the air for more than 190 continuous hours, and hams even deployed a mobile repeater to avoid the "shadowing" of signals by downtown buildings.
This is only the latest example of the communications infrastructure failing in an emergency, and hams replacing it with a communications system that works in a pinch. Amateur radio, it seems, has a role to play in virtually any emergency situation.
--- Dave Finley, N1IRZ
The 1995 edition of the Dayton HamVention is bigger and better this year. The 44th edition of the greatest spectacle in amateur radio opened to bigger crowds, bigger exhibits and a bigger flea market.
This year's flea market consists over 2600 spaces, including 138 spaces in the tent area. Encompassing over 10 acres all on pavement. They say that if you can't find what you want at the flea market at Dayton, it can't be found.
Indoor exhibits consisting of over 500 spaces adorned with all the new and innovative amateur gear is available throughout Hara Arena. Other areas of interest at this year's HamVention include: forums, alternate activities, drawings for hourly prizes, the Gala Banquet and the major prize drawing on Sunday.
73, de KF8IO
Monte Bateman, WB5RZX
SARA Newsletter Editor
bateman @ nmt.edu