Socorro Amateur Radio Association
SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- July, 1995
The June Meeting
... was held on June 14th with 22 members in attendance.
We met in the MSEC Building on the Tech campus due to a labor dispute
We would like to increase member input to our newsletter.
Posting items for sale or items wanted,
short articles, such as Hints and Kinks, or
anything else you think our members would be interested
in reading. Please contribute!
Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
Because we continue to experience problems with weak signal reception on our
2m repeater, it will be temporarily removed from the hill, probably during
the week of July 3--7. In the interim, the "old" repeater will be placed
back into operation. You will know when the change has been affected
because the melodious voice of Sandy (KB5YIX) will return to do the voice ID
every ten minutes (she had just caught up on sleep after field day). Bob
(WB5QZD) has seen to the rehabilitation of this machine and with the
replacement of the receiver section, it should work as well or better than
ever. Because the controllers differ, there will be some inconvenience
especially with regard to the autopatch which will require different access
and termination codes. The codes will be those in effect when this
controller was last in use.
Paul Harden, NA5N
We have learned that CNN, BBC and two Japanese networks will be there for
sure, and calls from other networks are starting to come in. So the ham
stations may suddenly receive some amazing coverage!
We had discussed having a cookout for visiting hams, but it turns out that
there will only be a handful. They all appreciated the invitation and it
seems we can accommodate them in Chuck's backyard. So, for the Saturday PM
operation, Chuck will set up a CW station in his backyard, so he doesn't
have to take down his R7 twice in two weeks! If we have sufficient interest,
we can also put the SARA SSB station on the air Saturday. We need to get a
show of hands at the next meeting ...
Saturday around 5 PM, White Sands will escort us to Trinity site so we can
erect our antennas and stations. I will be putting up my phased array; we
need to decide what to do for the SARA SSB station. Since they must be self
supporting, I suggest a vertical. Perhaps we could use Doug AB5WT's "spare"
GAP vertical. But we need a volunteer or two to go out Saturday afternoon to
set up the SSB station, as I'll be pretty busy getting that phased array
SUNDAY ... the gates open at 5 AM so we need to have the SSB ops and the CW
ops ready to come and operate. We need to get this scheduled at the next
meeting. I'll be operating my CW/QRP station, and Chuck may be taking his
QRP+ rig as well.
With 5000 people expected and the news media, I think we'll all be in a
"show and tell" mode more than operating. We need to put on a nice show.
The antennas and rigs will speak for themselves, but need to set up a table
with various Morse code keys, some WW2 era electronics, etc.~to blend in
with the nostalgia of the moment. I can make the signs and displays; it
would also be great if we could borrow some WW2 surplus receivers to be used
strictly as a "museum" pieces. With a little effort here, you can bet we'll
be on CNN, etc.
The bottom line is ... plenty of opportunity for all to have some good fun!
The proper way to begin this job is to thank the last guy who did it. And
what a job he did. From record hamfests to our new HF station --- thanks
Dave, for all the great things you accomplished for SARA. Never fear --- Dave
has agreed to continue to serve SARA as our Public Information Officer (my
first presidential appointment). Immediately, he wrote the press release for
Field Day for the Chieftain.
What a turnout! SARA and TARA supported three FD sites. That's another
record. Thanks to all who helped bring equipment, setup, operate, and tear
down. It's a lot of work --- I always ask myself, "why am I doing this?" But
(afterwards!), I'm always glad I did. My personal goal was to get as many
on the air as possible; about thirty people got to operate, including
several new folks who made their first HF contacts.
The White House
More than a dozen strong helpers showed up to help Thurman and Joy load their
moving truck. We already miss them at Saturday morning coffee gatherings.
Thanks to all who helped!
The coming year ...
Thanks to Dave Johnson, Gayle Rhodes, and Chuck Broadwell for agreeing to
serve as officers this year. I appreciate their willingness and "can-do"
attitude. We start this term with lots on our plate, but SARA loves a
challenge! Thanks for your support ...
Monte Bateman, WB5RZX
- Don't forget to tune into the weekly ARES net on 146.68 MHz,
on Wednesdays at 8:00 PM local.
- The SARA slow code net is held Thursdays at 8:00 PM on 28.228 MHz.
Join in to practice your code!
- Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, July 12th at 7:30 PM.
- Everyone is invited for coffee and donuts every Saturday at Daylight
Donuts 8:30 -- 9:30 AM.
- July 11 --- Upper Rio FM Society Meeting
- July 15--16 --- Trinity Site Special Event station
- July 21--23 --- Flagstaff Hamfest at Ft. Tuthill on the Coconino County
Fairgrounds, three miles south of the junction of I-40 and I-17. Exit 337
off I-17, then west (crossing Route 89A) into fairgrounds. Grand Prize:
trip for two to Dayton HamVention or Ten Tec Scout 555. Second prize: Alinco
DR-MO6T 6m mobile. Third Prize: Yaesu FT-11 2m HT. Fourth Prize: Kantronics
KPC-3 TNC. Admission is free; raffle tickets are $2. VE exams will be given;
a weekend class for no-code tech will be held. Talk-in on 146.98- (100 Hz PL).
- Aug 5--6 --- Atomic Museum Special Event Station
- Aug 26 --- Duke City Hamfest
- Sep 2--3 --- Alamogordo Hamfest
- Sep 9 --- Waterflow "Mudflats" Swapfest
- Sep 16 --- Northern NM Hamfest
George, WB5TGR, and Holly Hughes are planning a 4,000 mile bicycle adventure
on rural roads through each county of New Mexico. They will stop along the
way to do art projects in several diverse communities. Their story will be
shared via the Internet. SARA members can "read all about it" on the world
wide web by checking into the SARA homepage
and choosing the link to "The Bridge".
News from Newsline
Lower Cost Vanity
The cost of getting a vanity callsign is going down even before the first
gate to obtain one opens. As part of a recent FCC action in Docket 95-3, the
fee for an Amateur Radio vanity call sign has been reduced to $30 for the
ten year license term. That is $3 per calender year, but there is a catch.
The catch is that it requires an elusive FCC Form 610-V to apply for a
vanity call, and nobody can figure out how long it is going to be until the
Office of Management and Budget gets around to approving the FCC's request.
The new $30 fee structure will not be official until 90 days after its
publication in the Federal Register. That places the effective date into
September or early October. Probably about the time when the elusive Form
610-V makes it debut.
California License Scam Probe Continues
The FCC may be readying punitive action against a large number of hams and
former hams in Southern California. This, in connection with last year's
probe of wide spread amateur radio licensing corruption throughout the area.
According to usually reliable sources, the licensing fraud investigation
did not end when two hams were stripped of their licenses and another had
his suspended. That action simply took the probe out of the limelight,
permitting it to continue outside the glare of public scrutiny.
You may remember that almost three dozen Volunteer Examiners were
suspended state wide and close to a hundred applicants were ordered to be
retested. Almost none of those told to take new exams by a different VEC
bothered to do so. Most of those who did, failed. Many simply turned their
licenses in to the FCC for downgrading or outright cancellation.
There is strong speculation that it was this group of applicants that has
turned states evidence against the allegedly corrupt VE teams. It is
definitely known that the FCC has been able to amass a mountain of evidence
in the case. Now, after a year and a half of investigating, word on the
street is that the ax is about to fall on the corrupt VEs.
FCC Home Page
The Federal Communications Commission has set up a Homepage as an entry
point to the Commission's new on-line resources. The page features
selectable buttons to go directly to high interest items such as the Daily
Digest, the Commission Agenda, Auctions, and current rule makings.
To access it, simply type http://www.fcc.gov.
Once on-line, there
is also a button marked Getting Information. Clicking it provides a tour of
what information is available and where it can be found on the site. It
provides links to available on-line documents. There also is a link to the
FCC telephone directory. To send electronic mail to the FCC, the address is
ARRL Responds to RFI Proposal
The ARRL has commented on an FCC proposal to deregulate the equipment and
testing requirements for personal computers, peripherals, and individual
components as outlined in ET Docket No. 95-19. The proposal made in
February would not change the substantive regulations governing
unintentional emissions from Class B digital devices, and there is no
proposal in this proceeding to increase the amount of permitted RF energy
from personal computers, peripherals or their components.
Theoretically, says the League, radio amateurs will not be affected by
this proceeding. This, not withstanding the fact that the Commission's
certification procedure is specifically intended to ensure that
unintentional radiator devices not cause interference to radio services such
as broadcasting, aeronautical and maritime communications, and the amateur
But the League did express concern that the FCC was proposing to give up
oversight that, in the past, has kept interference from Class B computing
devices to radio receivers within practicable limits. This is a special
consideration now that many radio amateurs have PCs as permanent parts of
their stations. The League said it was important that the FCC reaffirm its
intention to increase enforcement against noncompliant devices.
The League said it concerns the amateur community that new testing
procedures could allow on the market more devices that either are not
tested, do not meet RF emission requirements, or both.
Finally, since Class B PCs can malfunction in the presence of strong RF
fields, the ARRL requests that every unit carry a Declaration of Conformity
to identify where the owner can go for assistance in getting the device to
function properly in the presence of an RF field.
New SAREX Launch Dates Set
NASA managers have set new launch dates for two Shuttle Amateur Radio
EXperiment missions scheduled to fly this summer. Space Shuttle Discovery
on Mission STS-70 is now targeted for launch on July 13 and Endeavour is set
to be launched on Mission STS-69 on July 30.
The new target launch dates for Discovery and Endeavour were established
after the launch team finished assessing the impact of a decision to roll
Discovery off Launch Pad 39-B. As previously reported, the rollback was
required in order to make repairs to the foam insulation on the external
tank caused by woodpeckers eating away the outside foam insulation.
Arizona 2 meter Highways
Check out the June 95 issue of Arizona Highways magazine. WA2RCB
says it has a very good article about ham radio operations in that state,
along with a state map that shows many 2 meter repeaters.
Monte Bateman, WB5RZX
SARA Newsletter Editor
bateman @ nmt.edu