Socorro Amateur Radio Association

SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- June, 1995

A New Team of Officers Takes the Rein at SARA

Our Association held its annual election at the May meeting and we elected a new set of officers for the coming year. Those elected are:

Monte Bateman, WB5RZX --- President
Dave Johnson, KB5YIW --- Vice President
Gayle Rhodes, KC5HGJ --- Secretary
Chuck Broadwell, W5UXH --- Treasurer

Congratulations to the new officers. We look forward to an exciting year and continued success of SARA under our new leadership.

Thanks to the outgoing officers who served our Association. We particularly want to extend our thanks to Thurman White, AB5WS, who is not only leaving his post as our Treasurer but also is leaving Socorro for a new home in Arkansas.

Thurman was elected Treasurer while attending his first SARA meeting as a newly-licensed ham, and immediately began to serve the Association extremely well in that position. We've all enjoyed the company of Thurman and Joy at SARA events, and we'll miss them both. We wish them well in their new home.

We do, however, expect to hear Thurman on the bands and for him to keep in touch with Socorro via amateur radio.

June Is Time for Field Day

That's right -- Field Day time has arrived. This year's Field Day will be on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

As many of you know, this is an event that combines a serious purpose with a lot of fun. The serious purpose is to practice the valuable skills of erecting temporary antennas and operating portable stations not dependent upon commercial electrical power. This helps to insure that we are ready to serve our community with emergency communications should the need arise. The fun comes from getting outdoors with a friendly bunch of fellow hams and enjoying the nonstop on-the-air contact with hams all over the country.

The full details of the Socorro-area effort for Field Day will be discussed at the June meeting, but it looks like we'll have a greater variety of activities than in any previous year. We'll likely be operating the now-traditional TARA-SARA FD station outside of Macey Center on the Tech campus as well as the time-honored SARA Datil Well Campground station. In addition, some of our avid QRP operators are planning a QRP FD station at a site yet to be determined.

Come to the June meeting and hear all the details. Plan to attend one or all of these FD events and share in the fun.

SARA Meeting Set for June 14

The June meeting of SARA will be held on Wednesday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the SARA clubhouse. See you there!

Club Station License Arrives

The SARA club station license arrived, and our club callsign is KC5OLJ. The club station license was issued on May 10, the day of our May meeting. The station trustee is SARA Treasurer Chuck Broadwell, W5UXH.

SARA Happenings

President's Corner

After two years as SARA President, I'm proud -- not of what I did but of what we accomplished together as an organization. I'm proud of the group of people that is SARA, and of the successes you made possible.

Because SARA members support this organization with their time and efforts, all our events, from the Hamfest to the highway cleanup, have been successful. We were able to make the goal of a club HF station a reality, providing a facility for all our members and an emergency communications resource for our community. Best of all, we reached and even exceeded the goal of getting a full one percent of Socorro's population licensed as amateurs. This will help insure a bright, active future for amateur radio here.

Two years ago, I suggested that we should set two major goals. The first is to make amateur radio fun for all our members, no matter what their license class or experience level. The second goal is to gain the support and respect of our fellow citizens through service to our community. I think the growth and success of SARA indicate that we have met those goals, and that we should continue pursuing them.

We all should be proud of the excellent group of people we elected in May as our new officers. That such people are willing to serve in SARA offices is confirmation of the vitality of our organization.

When I was elected, I said that making SARA a success is not a job for a single person or a handful of officers, but something that requires help from all the members. I asked for your help. You came through wonderfully, and I thank you -- all of you -- for the support you gave this organization the past two years. That support is what made possible our successes.

Now that SARA is larger than ever before, my statement is even more true. The success of our organization requires the support of us all, not just the dedication of the officers. Our new officers will need your help, and I ask that you give them the same support you gave me. I know you will and I look forward to greater successes in the future.

Thanks again.

Dave Finley, N1IRZ
Past President

SARA Station Is One Of Many Area Events Marking Trinity Site 50th Anniversary

The SARA special event station at Trinity Site on the 50th anniversary of the world's first nuclear explosion is one of several events scheduled in the Socorro area for the anniversary. A full weekend of events, including tours, lectures by Manhattan Project physicists, and an open house at Ground Zero, are planned. A large number of out-of-town visitors is expected, and motel rooms for the weekend already are becoming scarce.

The 50th anniversary of the Trinity test will be on Sunday, July 16, and that is when the SARA special event station will be operated. On the day before, Saturday, July 15, the Socorro area will be host to lectures and tours related to the Trinity test and other scientific topics.

Videos and displays about the Trinity test will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, at NM Tech's Macey Center. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guided tours of the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope will be offered at the VLA site, 50 miles west of Socorro. At 6 p.m. Saturday, two physicists who worked on the atomic bomb project and who were present at the Trinity test will present lectures at Macey Center.

The speakers are Dr. Harold Agnew, retired director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Dr. Robert Walker, a retired Cal Tech physics professor. Both worked with Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi and joined the Los Alamos scientific staff in 1943. They will present reminiscences and insights on the history of the Manhattan Project and the Trinity test.

The tours, displays and video presentations are free. Admission to the lectures will cost $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Tickets are available from the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce (835-0424).

On the 50th anniversary of the test, Sunday, July 16, Trinity site will be open to the public through the Stallion Gate of White Sands Missile Range. The gate will be open from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. Those also are the hours during which the SARA special event station will be operated at Trinity Site.

This weekend of events is expected to draw thousands of visitors to our area. The SARA special event station will be accessible to the public during the open house at Trinity Site, and this will be an opportunity to show off amateur radio to the many visitors who are coming to mark this anniversary.

Albuquerque Hams Will Operate V-J Day Special Event Station

The National Atomic Museum, at Kirtland AFB, in Albuquerque, NM, will be host to Amateur Radio Special Event Station, K5QQ. This Station will operate August 5 and 6, 1995, during the hours of 0900 - 1800 MDT, in the general phone sections of 15, 20 & 40 meters, both days. The station will be a small part of a massive celebration of V-J Day, and the 50th anniversary of that event.

Also, the 509th Bomb Group (US Army Air Forces) will hold their reunion, August 5 - 11, 1995. Some of the original members of this unit will be present at the Museum. A special QSL will be issued. A SASE would be appreciated. All SWL reports are encouraged (don't forget the SASE).

For those of you (licensed) who plan to be in the area, check in on the 147.15 MHz repeater (no pl, +600 KHz). The HF station will be set up in the NW corner of the B-29 display, just south of the museum.

If You wish to obtain a special QSL card, send a SASE (#9 is fine), Your QSL or SWL report to PO Box 6552, Albuquerque, NM 87197-6552. If You have any specific questions about the National Atomic Museum, and the V-J celebration, you may contact the museum directly, by calling (505) 845-6670, daily, except Holidays, 0900 - 1700 Mountain Time (1500 UT - 2300 UT).

73...Jay, WA5WHN

American Physical Society Issues Statement On Power Line Fields and Public Health

The following is a statement by the Council of the American Physical Society, issued in April:

"Physicists are frequently asked to comment on the potential dangers of cancer from electromagnetic fields that emanate from common power lines and electrical appliances. While recognizing that the connection between power line fields and cancer is an area of continuing study by research workers in many disciplines in the United States and abroad, we believe that it is possible to make several observations based on the scientific evidence at this time. We also believe that, in the interest of making the best use of the finite resources available for environmental research and mitigation, it is important for professional organizations to comment on this issue.

"The scientific literature and the reports of reviews by other panels show no consistent, significant link between cancer and power line fields. This literature includes epidemiological studies, research on biological systems, and analyses of theoretical interaction mechanisms. No plausible biophysical mechanisms for the systematic initiation or promotion of cancer by these power line fields have been identified. Furthermore, the preponderance of the epidemiological and biophysical/biological research findings have failed to substantiate those studies which have reported specific adverse health effects from exposure to such fields. While it is impossible to prove that no deleterious health effects occur from exposure to any environmental factor, it is necessary to demonstrate a consistent, significant, and causal relationship before one can conclude that such effects do occur. From this standpoint, the conjectures relating cancer to power line fields have not been scientifically substantiated.

"These unsubstantiated claims, however, have generated fears of power lines in some communities, leading to expensive mitigation efforts, and, in some cases, to lengthy and divisive court proceedings. The costs of mitigation and litigation relating to the power line-cancer connection have risen into the billions of dollars and threaten to go much higher. The diversion of these resources to eliminate a threat which has no persuasive scientific basis is disturbing to us. More serious environmental problems are neglected for lack of funding and public attention, and the burden of cost placed on the American public is incommensurate with the risk, if any."

Woodpeckers Delay SAREX Mission

From ARRL Headquarters Newington, CT -- Space Shuttle Mission STS-70, which is scheduled to carry the Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment, has been postponed. Mission managers have decided to repair damage done by woodpeckers in the foam insulation of the external fuel tank. The foam prevents ice from building up on the tank. The repairs will be done at the shuttle Vehicle Assembly Building, requiring the Space Shuttle Discovery to be removed from the launch pad during the week. The mission may be rescheduled for sometime in August.

Mission STS-71, which will also carry the Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment, is still scheduled for no earlier than June 22. Following a Flight Readiness Review June 2, mission managers decided not to select an official launch date due to ongoing work aboard the Russian Mir Space Station that needs to be completed prior to the Space Shuttle Atlantis' rendezvous and docking. The launch team at the Kennedy Space Center will continue vehicle processing work so that Atlantis will be ready for launch anytime on or after June 22. An official launch date is expected to be announced in about one week.

Thanks to SAREX Working Group member Matthew Bordelon, KC5BTL, at NASA Johnson Space Center and the Kennedy Space Center Public Affairs Office for the preceding information. For more information about SAREX, contact the American Radio Relay League's Educational Activities Department.

From Amateur Radio Newsline:

FCC Now Accepting Requests for Form 610-V

The FCC has begun accepting requests for Form 610 V, the form necessary for applying for a vanity call sign, through their Forms Distribution Center at 1-800-418-3676. The agency says that it will be some time before the forms are available, however, and some people who request them may get a back order notice.

Applications for amateur vanity call signs will not be accepted until some time after the forms are available from the FCC, and the Commission will make a public announcement of the date of opening of the first "gate" for vanity call sign applications. You can also get a Form 610 V by sending an S.A.S.E. to the ARRL - VEC at 225 Main Street, Newington, Connecticut 06111. Write "Form 610 V request" on the outer envelope.

LA County Adopts New Tower Ordinance

California's Los Angeles County has a new and fairly liberal tower and antenna ordinance thanks to the mediation efforts by members of the local ham radio community. The new law permits the erection of a ground mounted 75-foot-high retractable tower that can be nested to below thirty-five feet when not in use. Only a basic building permit is required. Prior to enactment of the new law, all ground mounted towers were limited to thirty-five feet unless a variance costing over $3000 in non-refundable filing fees was granted.

Also under the new ordinance, hams are permitted one vertical antenna exceeding thirty-five feet, and no permit is required for any antenna not exceeding the thirty-five-foot height limit. What about those hams who want to put up fixed towers to the seventy-five foot level? Those hams can apply for a special Amateur Radio Antenna Permit which is actually a variance that carries a $317 filing fee.

Here's the best part. Let's say you have a neighbor who does not like your tower and antenna. From now on, anyone wanting to challenge the installation of an approved Amateur Radio tower will have to pay for that privilege. As a part of the new ordinance, the County has instituted a $280 planning review fee that must be paid by anyone posing a challenge to a ham radio tower installation. The county says that it took this action as a way of stopping what it calls frivolous objections to the granting of antenna installation variances to licensed radio amateurs.

Work on the new ordinance was spearheaded by The Tri-County Amateur Radio Association, the Los Angeles Council of Amateur Radio Clubs, local ARRL officials and ARES disaster communications personnel.

Dave Finley, N1IRZ
Guest Editor
dfinley @