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 at SEC.


We would like to increase member input to our newsletter. Such as: 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.

Trinity Site

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 erected.

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!

President's Corner

Thanks, Dave!

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.

Field Day

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


Gatherings, gatherings

Upcoming events

The Bridge

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 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 service.

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 @