Socorro Amateur Radio Association
SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- September, 1996
... nineteen members were in attendance at the August 14 meeting.
Don Baker, KB5SZX SK --- Don Baker (KB5SZX), a friend to many,
and a member of SARA for several years passed away in Socorro in
Disaster Report ---
A disaster drill intended to simulate the
effects of a magnitude 6.6 earthquake, centered just north of
Socorro, was held on the morning of August 27. A number of SARA
members participated in portions of the exercise. SARA was asked
to simulate establishment of HF communications from the club
station and to establish that communications with Albuquerque
hospitals was possible via VHF repeaters to the north of Socorro.
Aside from these issues, SARA and its resources were not utilized
to the extent possible. This topic will certainly be a central
one at the September meeting. (Dave Johnson, KB5YIW)
Fat Tire Fiesta ---
The 5th annual Fat Tire Fiesta is scheduled
for the weekend of September 28-29, and once again the "Socorro
Amateur Radio Club" (a.k.a. SARA) is thanked (in advance) for
providing radio support. Included among the rides are several
that would benefit from SARA's participation. The Pueblo
Petroglyphs (ditch banks), Barite Mine (2-track dirt) and San
Mateo Crest (forest roads) rides on Saturday could be supported
from a radio equipped vehicle. You might like to sign up to go
mountain bike mobile for either the VLA/Morine Canyon (18 miles)
or Bosque del Apache Sunrise rides (12 miles) on Sunday. If none
of these appeal to you, consider helping man the SARA base
station on the Plaza. Contact Dave Johnson.
SARA Hamfest ---
The 1996 SARA Hamfest will be held in the New
Mexico Tech Gymnasium on Saturday, November 23rd. This is a new
site for the hamfest and one that affords greater floor space
than previous sites. One item for discussion at the September
meeting will be the nature of this year's "Invitational." You
may recall that last year QRP rigs were featured. Bring your
ideas to the meeting. Also up for consideration will be the
budget for prizes at this year's hamfest.
- In recent years, one of
the most popular tables at our hamfest was the SARA "surplus"
table where the club and members could deposit unwanted gear, and
visitors could avail themselves of these treasures for a donation
to SARA. It is not too early to clean out the shack, and
reorganize the garage as you attempt to make room for all that
new equipment that you will acquire at the hamfest.
- SARA took delivery of its two Mastr II transcievers during
the Duke City Hamfest.
- SARA's HF station at the clubhouse is available for use by
members. The keys to the facility may be obtained from Al
(AC5BX) or Sandy (KB5YIX) at the Socorro Radio Shack. If you
have questions direct them to Al, Sandy, or to any of your
- SARA's Homepage -
- Visit the ARRL Web site at http://www.arrl.org
- 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 improve your CW skills.
Gatherings, gatherings ---
- SARA meetings are held, beginning at 7:30 pm on the second
Wednesday of each month, in the SARA clubhouse (behind the chain
link fence) located on the east side of 5th Street between
Manzanares and Abeyta. The next meeting is scheduled for this
- Everyone is invited to coffee and donuts every Saturday at
Daylight Donuts ~8:30 to 9:30 am.
Upcoming events ---
- September 7 --- Waterflow "Mudflats" Swapfest;
- September 28-29 --- Socorro Fat Tire Fiesta
- October 19-20 --- [NOTE CHANGED DATE] International
HamFiesta; El Paso, TX
Just over the horizon ---
- Early November --- SARA highway pickup
- November 23 --- Socorro Hamfest
- December --- SARA Christmas dinner
AMATEUR RADIO DIGEST
From the ARRL ---
THE ARRL/VEC WILL FILE FORM 610 ELECTRONICALLY - Effective
immediately, the ARRL/VEC will electronically file with the FCC
Forms 610 for ARRL members. The ARRL/VEC can electronically file
FCC Form 610 applications for amateur station license renewals,
or for address, name or call sign changes. This service is free
to current ARRL members.
- ARRL members must send a correctly
completed, signed and dated original Form 610 to the ARRL/VEC.
Members can send the Form 610 by US mail, by courier, or hand
delivery to ARRL/VEC, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.
Applications received by the ARRL/VEC must include an original
signature. Forms 610 cannot be accepted via fax.
applications for renewal made on FCC Form 610 may be
electronically submitted by VECs. For now, VECs cannot process
computer-generated Forms 610R (which are mailed by the FCC
directly to upcoming expirees). Those must go directly to the
FCC. Also, VECs cannot presently process FCC Forms 610A, 610B,
610R or 610V. FCC Rules stipulate that renewals be submitted to
them no earlier than 90 days before the license expiration date.
Licenses that have been expired for less than two years may still
be reinstated. A Form 610 for renewal must be submitted to a VEC
or FCC before the two-year grace period has ended.
for a systematic call sign change must have Box 4E checked, and
the applicant must initial the line adjacent to the box.
- Applications for an address change must include a current mailing
address that is within the United States or its possessions or
territories (ie, where mail can be delivered by the US Postal
- Applications submitted for a name change must include
a copy of a legal document showing the formal name change. The
former name must be written on the line next to Box 4C.
Typographical errors can be corrected using Form 610.
can answer questions regarding Form 610 application processing
for ARRL members. Call 860-594-0300, weekdays and evenings, from
8 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time (ARRL Bulletin 52.)
FCC TO OPEN GATE 2 - The FCC has announced that vanity call sign
filing Gate 2 will
open September 23. Under Gate 2, Amateur Extra class licensees
may request a vanity call sign on or after that date. File
requests on FCC Form 610V. Legibility is critical. If your
application is not legible, you could experience a delay in
processing, lose the opportunity to obtain a requested call sign
or even obtain a call sign different from what you want.
Gate 2, you must hold an unexpired Amateur Extra class
operator/primary station license to request a vanity call sign
for your primary station. To request a vanity call sign for a
club station under Gate 2, you must also hold an unexpired club
station license grant listing you as the license trustee.
Applicants should refer to the licensee data base to verify that
a requested call sign is not already assigned. A call sign is
normally assignable two years following license expiration,
surrender, revocation, set aside, cancellation, void ab initio,
or death of the grantee.
- Using Form 610V, provide a list of up
to 25 call signs in the order of preference. The first
assignable call sign on the list will be assigned to your
station. Remember: When requesting a call sign under Gate 2 for
your primary or club station, the call sign must have been
unassigned for at least two years. As an Amateur Extra class
operator, you may request a call sign from any group, A, B, C or
- Any call sign requested must be one designated for the region
of your mailing address, as follows: One of the contiguous 48
states: Regions 1 to 10. Alaska: Regions 1 to 11. American
Samoa: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 8.
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands: Regions 1 to 10, or
Region 13 having numeral 0. Guam: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13
having numeral 2. Hawaii: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having
numeral 6 or 7. Puerto Rico: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 12
having numeral 3 or 4. Virgin Islands: Regions 1 to 10, or
Region 12 having numeral 2.
- For explanations of Groups A, B, C
and D and the geographic Regions, see Fact Sheet PR5000 Number
206-S, Amateur Station Sequential Call Sign System. For more
information, see Fact Sheet PR5000 Number 206-V Amateur Station
Vanity Call Sign System.
- Advanced, General, Technician Plus,
Technician, and Novice class operators are not yet eligible to
request by list. Advanced class operators will be eligible at
Gate 3. Others will be eligible at Gate 4.
- A separate Public
Notice will be released providing guidelines for the
implementation of electronic filing procedures for FCC Form 610V
(ARRL Bulletin 55).
FCC's June 5, 1996, Letter on WRC-97 -
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20554
June 5, 1996
Mr. David Sumner
Executive Vice President
The American Radio Relay League, Inc
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111
Dear Mr. Sumner:
- In recent days, over 1000 members of the Amateur Radio
community have contacted me regarding the upcoming 1997 World
Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva and expressed strong
concern that U.S. proposals will impact adversely on spectrum
allocated for Amateur bands. My purpose in writing to you is to
respond to these concerns and to provide you with additional
information regarding the WRC-97 preparatory process and its
relation to existing services. Many of the comments I received
have focused on a list of "candidate" frequency bands discussed
at the May 7 meeting of the WRC-97 Industry Advisory Working
Committee Informal Working Group 2A (IWG-2A). The comments
suggest that the Amateur Radio Service Bands, specifically the
144-148 and 420-450 MHz bands, have been targeted as a source of
spectrum for future Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) operations.
- First, I want to assure the amateur radio community that no
amateur bands have been selected for reallocation. The list of
bands generated on May 7th represent only the IWG-2A's initial
efforts to study spectrum use below 1 GHz in order to assess the
feasibility of proposing world-wide MSS allocations in that
range. Before recommending preliminary proposals for
consideration by the Commission, IWG-2A participants must first
conduct sharing studies among a range of services using
frequencies below 1 GHz. These studies are necessary in order to
determine the feasibility of sharing between services, and
whether recommending any specific frequency band will be
- Second, the bands listed reflect only the initial
component of a long-term effort to conduct sharing studies before
submitting the Committee's proposals to the Commission for
review. We intend to conduct sharing studies in bands currently
occupied by government and non-government users. In any case, I
want to emphasize that the survey on spectrum use is an
international matter which involves all frequencies below 1 GHz.
- Finally, the current WRC-97 preparatory process, as in years
past, operates under a Congressional statute designed to
encourage maximum participation by all interested parties.
Therefore, all written and electronic comments received at the
Commission to date by Amateur Radio operators have been included
as part of the public record on WRC-97 proceedings. However, in
the interest of efficiency, we have created a designated FCC
office and e-mail site to channel future WRC-97 comments directly
to the WRC-97 Committee Chairs. I have included our latest Public
Notice outlining these changes and urge you to share it with your
- I appreciate the many valuable contributions the amateur
radio community has made to the progress of radio technology and
to ensuring the safety of the American public. I look forward to
working with you so that we can continue to advance the use of
exciting telecommunications technology both in the U.S. and
- signed: Cecily C. Holiday
- Director, WRC-97 Preparatory Team
Little LEOS & the Band Threat ---
Your written comments on the proposed removal of frequencies from
the 2m/70cm ham bands (an original plus one copy) should be sent
to: Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission,
Washington, DC 20554. Email should be sent to wrc97ATfcc.gov.
Each comment should include at the top, "Reference No.
ISP-96-005" and "Advisory Committee Informal Working Group 2A."
From Newsline ---
SAFEX SPACE REPEATER IS ON THE AIR - A European built FM repeater
is now on the air from space. This, according to word passed
down from the Mir space station by United States astronaut
Shannon Lucid who says the repeater known as SAFEX came to life
at on July 17th at 14:05 UTC.
- According to astronaut Lucid,
SAFEX is using the call sign RR0DL with an uplink or input of
447.750 MHz and outputting on 437.950 MHZ. Access requires a
141.3 Hz Continuous Tone Coded Squelch, better known to United
States hams under the Motorola trademark of PL. Lucid says that
the repeater is located in Mir's Priroda module. She adds that
its wise to check 437.925 MHZ for the beacon voice recorder that
announces that Mir is within range of your QTH.
- If you happen to
hear RR0DL and want to try a QSO though it, initial reports
indicate that it takes at least 25 watts output into a pretty
good antenna to make the trip. Dave Larsen, N6LJH, was one of
the first to hear and use RR0DL. He reports on the AMSAT
bulletin board that it required his use of a 35 element beam and
25 watts to access the space repeater and he has not been able to
work through RR0DL with a mobile rig and a 5/8's wave antenna.
This says Dave, even though Mir was in a 75 degree high elevation
- Dave Larsen also says to remember that the Mir moves very
fast across the Earth - so make your contacts as short as you
can. Also remember that this is an orbital repeater so there
will be discernable Doppler shift as it approaches and departs
your ground location. Doppler shift is estimated at as much as
plus or minus 5 kHz.
- And oh yes. RR0DL is one of the few
repeaters that offers a QSL card for contacts made though it.
DF0VR in Germany is its QSL Manager. His address is good in
almost any late callbook or directory.
(NEWSLINE RADIO - CBBS EDITION #990 - 08/02/96)
NEW HAM RADIO RF SAFETY STANDARDS - New FCC RF safety standards
effective January 1, 1997, could affect the way some hams
operate, including those using vehicle-mounted antennas.
changes to ham radio are far reaching and come in the wake of a
Report and Order on RF safety adopted by the FCC on August 1. As
a result, the Part 97 Amateur Service rules will now require hams
running more than 50 W PEP to conduct routine RF radiation
evaluations. This, to determine if RF fields are sufficient to
cause human exposure to RF radiation levels in excess of those
specified. Where routine evaluation indicates that the RF
radiation could be in excess of the limits, hams will be forced
by law to take action to immediately remedy the situation.
According to the FCC, this could mean altering operating
patterns, relocating the antenna, revising the station's
technical parameters and other remedies.
- Exactly what is
involved in conducting a 'routine RF radiation evaluation' is not
yet clear. These guidelines will have to be established by the
FCC. Speculation is that they could be as simple as field
measurements with some form of RF sniffer to as complicated as a
full blown environmental impact study. Nobody knows for sure.
- The ARRL says that it is now studying the 100 plus page docket,
to see if the League should seek reconsideration of any aspects
of the FCC decision. Executive Vice President Dave Sumner, K1ZZ
notes that the FCC expects it will not be difficult for most
amateur stations to show that the specified limits will be met.
Sumner says that for high-power mobile operation and for
operation with indoor antennas, particularly in apartment
buildings and other situations where there is "uncontrolled
exposure" to neighbors and the general public, "amateurs may well
have to make changes in how they operate." K1ZZ says the ARRL
Lab staff and the RF Safety Committee will be evaluating the new
- The new regulations also will require the addition
of five questions on RF environmental safety be added to the
amateur examinations for Novice, Technician, and General class.
Sumner notes that the Commission's Report and Order does not
take into account the practical problems associated with such a
significant revision to the volunteer administered amateur
examinations, and that more time than the Commission has allowed
will be required to do a good job.
- This is obviously a
developing story. We will have more in future Newsline reports.
(NEWSLINE RADIO - CBBS EDITION #991 - 08/09/96)
Submissions to SARA Newsletter ---
Contributions related to amateur radio will be considered for inclusion in the SARA
Newsletter. Text should be of general interest to readers, and
on the order of 200 to 300 words. Each month ads to buy, sell,
or trade may be included. The usual caveat applies, items must
be ham-related. Material will be included on a space available;
first come, first served basis; and pretty much at the discretion
of the editor. To be assured of consideration for the next
newsletter, material must be received by the 25th day of the
month. I would prefer to have submissions in the form of a DOS
ASCII file. Email is ideal (to djohnsonATmailhost.nmt.edu), snail
mail to 325 McCutcheon St., Socorro, NM 87801, or you can FAX
text to (505) 835-6436. Telephone queries will be received at
835-1432 AT hm, or 835-5771 AT wk.
D. Johnson - Ed.
Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
SARA Newsletter Editor