Socorro's 70 cm aficionados will be happy to learn that there is substantial movement towards a 440 machine in Socorro. Bob Sparks has put his machine in operation from his home in Socorro, on a test basis before it is taken to the top of Socorro Peak. Bob encourages you to "try it out." There is, however, one request. The controller does not currently have an ID. Consequently, users must ID for the repeater at least every 10 minutes. The call sign is Bob's --- WB5QZD. Do your part to keep Bob from running afoul of the law. The frequency for the repeater is 444.375 RX/449.375 TX. At present, there is no PL, however, once the repeater is located on Socorro Peak it will require a PL tone for access. I believe that the tone will be 127 Hz.
The following rides/races on Saturday need radio support: San Acacia, Morine Canyon, Big Rosa, Baldy Hill Climb (AM) and Sevilleta (AM). In particular, the Morine and Big Rosa rides would benefit from operators having 70 cm capabilities. The Baldy Hill Climb will require two operators each with a VHF radio, and a high clearance vehicle. On Sunday, the following rides will require radios: Riley Loop, Sevilleta (AM), and Barite Mine (AM). If you are an amateur radio operator and ride a mountain bike, the Sevilleta rides are for you. Otherwise a sturdy vehicle with a little ground clearance should serve you well. Doug (AB5WT) has already contacted several who will cover some of these rides. If you are available for a ride or to man the base stations at the Plaza, please call Doug at 835-2406.
Again this year I will be operating a crossband repeater from the saddle below South Baldy from about 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Saturday only. This remote base will permit those (especially west of the Magdalena Mtns.) with 70 cm capabilities to access the Socorro VHF repeater by using 444.75 MHz. The autopatch will not be directly available to those using the remote base. Two frequencies will be largely dedicated to simplex operation. These are: 145.47 MHz and 449.75 MHz. A reminder that when using these frequencies you should use the minimum power necessary.
At the show I saw a few bargains (even brought home a few!), talked with lots of folks about coming to our hamfest, and saw lots of antique gear. If you collect Hallicrafters, Heathkit, Gonset or Hammarlund, this show was for you! I talked with a small group of hams who are trying to get 9600 baud packet links going in our state. This is a project worthy of SARA's support. The faster speed will help packet radio stay technologically relevant. With everyone gaining access to the Internet, packet radio holds less interest for folks wanting to send e-mail. This is much the same thing that happened when everyone bought cellular phones --- our handheld's access to a phone patch just isn't that big a deal anymore --- "Whaddaya mean you can't order a pizza on that thing?" I feel that hams should always push the envelope of technology, and high-speed data transfer over RF links is one of the latest.
With our new location and bigger facility, we have the chance to make this hamfest another record-breaker. Dave, N1IRZ, has committed to giving his "near legendary" talk on learning Morse code; a ham from Los Alamos will come and give a seminar on AMSAT; Paul, NA5N, will round up several of the QRP regulars and we'll hear lots from them. Due to the efforts of several locals, Socorro is rapidly becoming the "QRP center of the universe."
Because of their long charged shelf life, I recommend them for emergency equipment; they will keep their charge for several years of storage, yet be quickly rechargeable for sustained operation.
--- from the January '95 Colorado QRP Club "The Low Down"
--- Rich High, W0HEP, Editor.
Many old timers can remember when an FCC van would pay a visit to a ham accused of causing TVI. After a detailed technical investigation, FCC engineers would pronounce the ham station either "clean" or "dirty." If the station were found to be transmitting spurious emissions that interfered with neighborhood TVs, the ham was told to "clean it up," or else. If the station was found to be operating legally, the friendly FCC engineer talked to the neighbor about fundamental overload and high-pass filters.
While hams generally feared this visit from the FCC, in reality it often proved useful, ending a neighborhood dispute and providing a final answer on fault and responsibility.
But over the past several years the FCC has been "unofficially" out of the "retail" RFI business. Hams, or their neighbors, who contact the FCC about an interference problem, are given a copy of the FCC's Interference Handbook, and are asked to work together toward a solution. While this works out well with reasonable people, the ARRL RFI Desk hears horror stories from hams about neighbors who refuse all attempts at reconciliation or solution.
Some of these disputes have ended up in court---in battles amateurs usually ultimately win, but only after the expenditure of thousands of dollars. The administrative burden of RFI investigation has been lessened, but a few individuals end up paying a high price.
ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, KA1CV, worked closely with the FCC Tampa CIB office both before and after the meeting. The FCC said their pilot program will use local electronic repair shops to fix interference problems "in the field." The FCC also said it receives some 30,000 complaints a year of interference to home electronic equipment.
The FCC also feels that the self-help information they have been providing is not used effectively by consumers. In June 1995, the FCC surveyed 80 recent cases of interference, 53 of them still unresolved. Of those that had been resolved, only one or two used the self-help information supplied by the FCC. The FCC said that the most interference problems come from Citizens Band operation.
The FCC believes that a program to privatize the resolution of interference problems would be effective. Local repair shops would call on the involved parties and repair the problem. If the problem were found to be caused by susceptible consumer equipment, the shop would fix that equipment. If an investigation determined that the radio transmitter was being operated in violation of FCC rules, the service shop would refer the case back to the FCC for possible action.
While the issues of cost were not made entirely clear, the gist of discussions at the meeting revolved around consumers being charged for any needed repairs to their equipment. Who should be charged if the interference were deemed to have been caused by the illegal operation of a transmitter was an unresolved issue. "The service shop would most certainly expect to be paid by whoever made the initial call for service," Hare said in an interview after the meeting.
The FCC's emphasis was on locating and training the service organizations (repair shops). When the program goes nationwide there will be no limit on the number of service organizations, there will be no FCC certification, and no FCC question pools. The FCC will maintain a list of service organizations and refer consumers to those nearby. They did, however, state that they didn't intend to refer anyone to a group that they didn't have confidence in.
According to Ed Hare, "There are a number of unresolved issues and potential pitfalls." Hare said. "The service technicians will not work for free and the program guidelines must be very clear about who pays for their service. And the neighbors of radio operators usually assume that all interference is the fault of the radio station. Can we ensure that the service technicians are properly trained?
"The ARRL will continue to work closely with the FCC, manufacturers, and amateurs to help resolve these issues and develop effective solutions," Hare said.
Sgt Richard Zucker, today KB3YM of Ellicott City, Maryland, was a radio operator with the 3116th Signal Service Battalion at WTJ Radio Control on Oahu, Hawaii. At 2314Z, the 21-year-old radioman received a teletype message from the Pentagon station WAR near Washington and relayed it to General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines. The message announced the Japanese capitulation, signifying the official end of World War II.
Zucker grew up in an Amateur Radio family in Mt. Vernon, New York. His father, also named Richard, was on the air in 1913 with a kilowatt spark rig and a "self-assigned" call sign: 2DB. The elder Zucker was in the Signal Corps in World War I. Young Richard enlisted in the service in 1942 at age 18 and was assigned to the Signal Corps because he already knew the Morse code. He took his amateur license exam in 1944 while stationed in Honolulu and was assigned his first call, W2QKT, in 1946.
After the war, Sgt. Zucker earned a bachelor's degree from New York University and a master's from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Today, he is active both on the amateur bands and in the Military Affiliate Radio System, as AAR3EO. His wife is Doris Jean Hauck.