Socorro Amateur Radio Association
SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- August, 1995
The July Meeting
... was held on July 12th with 27 members in attendance.
Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
For the benefit of those who were not in attendance at the July meeting
there are two business items to report. Members voted to use the club
callsign (KC5OLJ) for the SARA repeater. The AA5RH call will continue to be
used until the Mastr II repeater and new controller are returned to the
hill. We thank Clarence for serving as trustee and "loaning" his call to
the repeater this year or two. The membership also authorized purchase of a
set of 2 meter cavities which were ordered and have been received. The
extra set will ultimately be used at a new 2 meter repeater site, probably
out west. One location that has been suggested and is under consideration
is on Davenport Mountain, north and a little east of Datil, NM. This
location would open up the area to the west of Magdalena and on either side
of U.S. 60 to points west of Datil. This is not exactly a highly populated
region and the repeater would most likely serve recreational users and
passersby in the area. Your comments on a linked (to Socorro Peak) 2 meter
repeater at this or other locations is strongly encouraged. In the
meantime, we will use the extra cavities to help diagnose the receiver
desensing problems that have plagued the GE Mastr II.
The old SARA repeater replaced the new one as planned in early July. Few
matters related to repeaters seem to progress in a predictable manner, and
this operation was no exception. I suspect that even as I was announcing
our "success" to those assembled at the July meeting, rx audio quality was
deteriorating to unacceptable levels. These problems occasioned several
trips up the mountain to attempt repairs, most recently (and successfully)
by Felix (WB5LXA) and Jim (WB5GWH) who, on Tuesday, July 25th, visited the
repeater site and rectified most of the problems related to the audio
distortion. There is some concern that audio levels might change again ---
'spontaneously.' The autopatch works well for the parties engaged in a
call, however, some distortion remains in the retransmitted rx audio during
autopatch operation. If you have not received instructions on use of the
current controller/autopatch, give me a call (835-5771 weekdays or 835-1432
evenings and weekends).
About two dozen dedicated members helped with our special event station. The
group gathered at Denny's at 0245 on Sunday to head for Stallion Gate. We
were escorted past the crowd and the CNN van! The official report was
5,800 visitors to the site that day. Many visitors (including the White
Sands staff) were impressed with our display of WWII vintage radio gear. I
spoke with several vets who remembered operating similar pieces of gear
during active duty. SARA also received very widespread press coverage.
Thanks for another good showing by our organization.
... Special Event: Trinity Site
What a success! We had about a dozen SARA members show up to help setup on
Saturday and about 16 on Sunday to help operate. Our guests from
Albuquerque couldn't believe what a showing we had. Thanks to all who
helped. We logged about 200 contacts and we have received about 125 QSLs.
On a Saturday afternoon in the near future, we will need some help to fill
out certificates and address envelopes. Thanks to Paul Harden, NA5N, for
lending his callsign and printing some very nice certificates for the
event. Paul did alot of work for this event --- be sure to thank him!
Our hamfest is only three months away. We have received permission to use
the "extra" gym at Socorro High School. We still have a few final details
to iron out, but it looks like this year's hamfest may be even bigger and
better than last year's.
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, August 9th at 7:30 PM.
- Everyone is invited for coffee and donuts every Saturday at Daylight
Donuts 8:30 -- 9:30 AM.
- Aug 5--6 --- Atomic Museum Special Event Station
- Aug 26 --- Duke City Hamfest
It will again be at the National Guard Armory again, at 600 Wyoming.
Contact: Jay Miller, WA5WHN, @ 505/821-2771.
Easiest route: I-40, exit Louisiana, south to Copper, east to Wyoming,
north to the armory. Turn in at the south end of the armory and go all the
way back --- park on the east side of (behind) the armory. Handicapped
parking against the east wall of the armory.
- Sep 2--3 --- Alamogordo Hamfest
Tables are $5 each day. Pre-registration is $5 and is due by Aug 13;
at-the-door admission is $6. Send to: AARC, PO Box 1191, Alamogordo,
88310. Contact: Mary Moore at 437-0145.
VE Testing on Sunday, Sep 3 at 9:00 AM---SHARP. Hourly Door prizes; Pre-reg
prize: Icom IC-2GXAT 2m HT; Grand prize: Icom IC-738 All-mode HF with PS; 1st
prize: IC-281H 2m Mobile; 2nd Prize: IC-T21A 2m HT.
- Sep 9 --- Waterflow "Mudflats" Swapfest
- Sep 16 --- Northern NM Hamfest
- Oct 7--8 --- International Hamfiesta, El Paso, TX
- Nov 18 --- Socorro Hamfest
News from Newsline
George Wilson Steps Down as ARRL President
One of the most popular presidents in the history of the American Radio
Relay League has resigned. George Wilson, W4OYI, says that his continued
poor health makes it impossible to remain as the leader of the ARRL.
George S. Wilson, W4OYI, has tendered his resignation as president of the
ARRL. In his letter to the League's Secretary and forwarded to Board of
Directors, President Wilson cites his ongoing health problems leading to his
inability to travel, and expected long term rehabilitation as the primary
reasons for his decision to step aside.
As most are aware, President Wilson suffered a serious stroke last
February while in Washington, D.C. on ARRL related business. He spent two
months in a hospital nearby the nation's capital before being transferred to
a rehabilitation center in Indiana. It was from that facility that W4OYI
issued his resignation letter on July 1st.
A California magistrate has become the twelfth president of the ARRL.
Judge Rodney J. Stafford, KB6ZV, of San Jose, California has served as First
Vice President of the ARRL since January 1992. He had been performing the
duties of president since February 11th when W4OYI became incapacitated by a
stroke. He has now succeeded to the presidency from that position in
accordance with the by-laws.
But who is ARRL President Rodney Stafford? To start with he is a Life
Member of the League and holds the necessary credentials for the job. He
has served as an ARRL vice president from 1990 to 1992. Before that as
Pacific Division Director from 1986 to 1990, and as Section Manager of Santa
Clara Valley from 1983 to 1986. He was appointed Municipal Court Judge in
Santa Clara County by Governor Pete Wilson in 1990, and this year is serving
as Presiding Judge. He is a graduate of the California State University at
San Diego and the Santa Clara University School of Law. He was in private
law practice from 1972 until 1988 and served as a Commissioner from 1988 to
The new ARRL President counts photography among his interests in addition
to amateur radio. His wife Patricia holds the call sign N6KLI.
Rodney Stafford will complete George Wilson's term of office that expires
in January of 1996.
On-line Magazine Available
A new Amateur Radio Operator OnLine Magazine is up and running and
available on the World Wide Web. This is a little different from other Web
pages. It is a complete magazine on-line with links between articles and
pages. Since this is the first magazine of this type for amateur radio, the
creators are interested in receiving feedback from readers. They are also
looking for future articles to include in the on-line magazine. The address
Family of Calls
Ask a ham what's most important to him or her, and the answer is probably
their callsign. Think back to the day you saw your callsign for the first
time. You had been anxiously wondering what it would be, and you finally
got your answer when your license showed up.
When couples get their licenses together, it's not unusual for their
callsigns to be issued consecutively. Kathy and Don Falls, who live in
Carleton, Michigan, thought that might happen to them. After all, they had
both studied for their ham licenses with the help of a Monroe county
Michigan amateur radio club, and both passed their tests for codeless
Technician licenses. Sure enough, Kathy and Don did get consecutive
callsigns from the FCC. No big deal, you say? Well, how about this. Not
only did they get consecutive calls, but in what must be unheard-of odds,
their licenses were issued just as one callsign block ran out and another
one started. Kathy's call is KB8ZZZ. Don's is KC8AAA!
The Falls are loving amateur radio and are active on 2 meters. And they're
already looking ahead to the HF bands, by planning to upgrade. Our advice
to Kathy and Don? Keep those callsigns when you upgrade ... they're a
ARRL vs. Apple at 5 GHz
The ARRL is saying no to Apple computer in its bid for new spectrum to
create a license-free public data communications service. The League has
filed comments in opposition to the Apple sponsored petition for rule making
that would allocate 300 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band. A proposal that
the ARRL says will affect the Amateur Radio Service.
The Apple petition is designated RM-8653. It asks for spectrum for a new,
unlicensed radio service that the League called "essentially unregulated,
save for certain technical rules." The petition proposes the use of
directional antennas and relatively high power and a protected allocation
status in shared bands by non-technical persons.
Part of the spectrum being sought by Apple includes 150 MHz at 5150--5300
MHz and 5725--5875 MHz. Amateurs currently have access to the entire range
5650--5925 MHz on a shared basis. In defense of the amateur radio allocation
in the 5 GHz band, the ARRL cites activity in a number of metropolitan areas
around the U.S.
The League says Apple's petition doesn't show why 300 MHz is necessary for
such a service. It asks why existing allocations are not sufficient; why
existing wireless and wireline services aren't sufficient, and why a
proceeding such as this should not wait until current proposals on such
services are resolved. The ARRL also says the petition fails to consider
compatibility between the proposed new radio service and other services
including amateur radio.
Bencher Devours Butternut
Bencher, Inc. has announced that it has acquired the business assets of
Butternut Electronics, Inc. of Olmito, Texas. In its June 1st press release,
Bencher said it would continue to make Butternut products at the Olmito
facility and would market them through the existing Bencher network of
amateur radio dealers.
3456 MHz Record
Also, extraordinary conditions for tropospheric propagation in the U.S.
Midwest have resulted in a new overland record on the amateur 3456 MHz UHF
band. At 12:24 UTC on July 12, Al Ward, WB5LUA, in Allen, Texas, worked
Gary Morhlant, WA0BWE, in Maplewood, Minnesota over a distance of 841 miles.
The previous record of 736 miles was set on May 1, 1992, between WB5LUA and
W9ZIH, in Malta, Illinois. This time around WA0BWE was running about 5
watts and WB5LUA operated 100 watts to a 5 foot dish at 65 feet.
Single Day Convention Trend Growing
Look for more ham radio conventions become one day events. A recent
issue of the Repeater Journal, a publication of the Southeastern
Repeater Association, says that there appears to be a major shift toward
downsizing large and mid-sized conventions and hamfests from two and three
day events into single day affairs.
Repeater Journal says that attendance patterns in the Southeastern
United States having changed over the past five years. The vast majority of
those in attendance show up on opening day with fewer than 10% coming the
second or third day. As a result, many show planners have decided to cut
back their shows into single day high-volume events. It will be interesting
to see if this trend becomes a national fad. Also, what will be the
reaction of the amateur radio supply industry, many of whom fly 1500--3000
miles to a show. Will they still be willing to attend a convention that
only provides eight to ten hours for exhibiting and sales?
If you have an Internet World Wide Web viewer, be sure to see the new
Radio Design Group World Wide Web Service. The Radio Design Group Web Page
is the creation of Westlink Radio Network founder and Newsline northwest
bureau chief Jim Hendershot, WA6VQP. The address is http://www.slonet.org/~kgoss.
Monte Bateman, WB5RZX
SARA Newsletter Editor
bateman @ nmt.edu