Socorro Amateur Radio Association

SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- November, 1996


There were twenty-one members in attendance at the October 9th meeting.


SARA Highway Cleanup

Twice each year, SARA members clean their adopted portion of I-25, just north of Socorro. Timing for the November 9th pickup is intended to provide a tidy welcome for all those amateur radio operators from Albuquerque who will be attending the Socorro Hamfest just two weeks later. Plan on joining the group who will assemble at 8:00 am at the Socorro Chamber of Commerce Bldg., (103 Francisco de Avondo) at the north end of Socorro. Interest among participants is driven by various rewards including cash (has WB5GWH ever bought coffee with that $20 bill he scored last year?) and establishing fast food franchise investment strategies for the coming fiscal year. Oh, and dress for the weather that day.

Repeater Report

It has been a year or so since we have reviewed the customs and practices related to autopatch use. In that time several members have joined, and I suspect a larger number may have forgotten some or all of the steps, so this might be an appropriate time to review these.

The SARA repeater is open (any licensed amateur is welcome to use it), but access to the autopatch is closed. That is to say, the codes necessary for bringing up and closing the patch are not public information, but are limited to SARA members. While it is appropriate to tell other hams that transmitting the DTMF string "911" will connect them with Socorro Emergency services, do not communicate other codes - over the air or otherwise. It is also appropriate for members to facilitate phone calls for others, particularly visiting amateurs.

Making an autopatch call isn't that difficult, but does require following a few steps. First, announce your intention to make an autopatch call. You might even invite anyone needing to make a quick transmission to do so. Once you have alerted others to your intent, key your transmitter, the autopatch access code, and the entire phone number, without interrupting the transmission. Once these tones are sent, release the PTT switch. Our controller receives, translates and stores all of the DTMF tones, and then regenerates them. After a short delay, you will hear the controller begin to reprocess the tones, and (hopefully) a series of ring tones followed by the voice of whomever you called. To "hangup," simply transmit the appropriate code and announce that you are "clear of the autopatch" or words to that effect. Note that you can generate a dial tone for subsequent calls without having to hangup and reenter the access string. (Dave Johnson, KB5YIW)

SARA Membership

About 3 years ago, SARA made an adjustment to its dues. Prior to that time, there were only individual memberships. The change involved a modest increase to $10/year, and the institution of family memberships. For an additional $5 (added to the individual membership) one can now include family members. If you are renewing your membership (the expiration date is noted on your mailing label), you may now include all family members for the $15 charge. We have no formal application for membership or renewal, but would like to have the following information for all members: name, call, address, home and work phone, and email address (if applicable). If you receive mail at New Mexico Tech, include your campus mail address (so we can save a few cents on postage). As this information changes, we would appreciate an update.

There are a few benefits that accrue from membership. Perhaps the greatest of these is supporting a vital local amateur radio group. More tangible benefits include access to SARA's HF station located in the clubhouse, SARA repeater, autopatch, an assigned personal autodial number, and of course, this marvelous newsletter. Why, the newsletter alone is a $6.24 value.

JOTA '96

SARA's contributions to this year's Jamboree On The Air will be memorable for at least some. Plans had called for SARA members (Dave, N1IRZ and Howard, K9PV) to join scouts who were camped in San Lorenzo Canyon on Saturday, October 19th. The plan (as I understand it) was to use K9PV's IC-706 and the car-mounted vertical for the JOTA event/demonstration. We can only speculate about the causes, but Howard's car expired before arriving at the scout's campsite and the Saturday event had to be scrapped. In an attempt to salvage something of SARA's participation, Monte (WB5RZX) agreed to man the SARA HF station in the clubhouse on Sunday afternoon, to demonstrate the amateur radio. Everything went well save for the fact that it was a particularly lonely afternoon for Monte. Perhaps next year we can mount a more successful effort. . (Dave Johnson, KB5YIW)

SARA Hamfest

The 1996 SARA Hamfest will be held in the New Mexico Tech Gymnasium on Saturday, November 23rd from 9:00 to 17:00 hours local time. Admission is free, tables at the swap meet are $5.00 each. Late breaking information relating to the hamfest is available on the SARA Homepage. A hamfest flier should be appended to this newsletter. Feel free to hand it to a colleague or if you have more than one needy colleague, we can provide additional copies. Contact any of the SARA officers.

This year's event will feature several forums (ARRL, QRP, Morse for Morse Haters), a QRP test table, displays of classic radio gear from around the region, and radio controlled aircraft. SARA's "give away - donations accepted" table will be featured, so plan on cleaning out the shack. As always, there will be a VE session including testing for all license classes. Prizes will be awarded hourly with the drawing Saturday afternoon for one of three grand prizes (ICOM T7A HT, ICOM IC-2000H mobile, EM-TECH QRP kit). Throughout the day, tables will be available for vendors at the swap meet. Several commercial vendors, including sellers of new radio equipment, have been contacted and will attend.
Click here to see a map of Socorro and the vicinity of the Socorro Hamfest.

Fat Tire Redux

Several of you may have read the letter from Rick Aster (organizer of the 1996 FTF) in El Defensor Chieftan and wondered why SARA was not mentioned. As most everyone (including Rick) knows, SARA members logged long hours and many miles in their personal vehicles providing crucial support to the 1996 Fat Tire Fiesta. While Rick's falure to mention these facts in the letter was unfortunate, he did express gratitude to SARA at the Fat Tire dinner on Saturday evening of the event at the opera house; this before many of the participants and organizers. When apprised of the omission in the Chieftan letter, he provided the following email message to SARA members on 10/24/96:

Dear SARA members,

My sincerest apologies for neglecting to mention explicitly SARA's essential contributions to the safety and logistics of the Fat Tire Fiesta during this and previous years. As I mentioned to some of you on the plaza during the Fiesta and during my thank yous at the opera house, your many contributions are crucial to the successful operation of this far-flung event. I was mortified to find that you were inadvertently left out of the recent letter that I sent in to the Chieftain. I delivered a correction to the newspaper this afternoon.

Best Regards,

Rick Aster

73 Amateur Radio Today

True to their word, 73 Amateur Radio Today has provided SARA with a certificate for a free 1-year subscription to their publication, in exchange for a 1-year subscription to this newsletter.

Southeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Emergency Services


The following represents recommendations of equipment and supplies ARES members should consider having available for use during an emergency or public service activity.

  1. ARES Identification Card
  2. FCC Amateur Radio Operators License
  3. Radio Gear
  4. Writing Gear
  5. Personal Gear (short duration)
  6. Personal gear (72-hour duration)
  7. Tool Box (72 hour duration
  8. Other

First Aid Kit

When working in Emergency Services, it pays to have a complete first aid kit among your other supplies and equipment. The kit described below is the very basic first aid kit you should have in order to protect yourself when treating an unknown person for any injuries that bring you into contact with body fluids.

  1. 10, 4X4 gauge pads
  2. 2 - Rolls Kling
  3. 1 - Box assorted Band aids
  4. 4 - Sanitary napkins
  5. Ace bandage
  6. 3 - Pair, rubber gloves
  7. 3 - Disposable face mask
  8. Small bottle Bleach 4 oz.
  9. Small bottle Alcohol 4 oz.
  10. Small bottle Anti - bacterial soap
  11. Pen light or small flash light
  12. Eye protection glasses
  13. Blood Pressure gauge w/ scope - Optional.
  14. Scissors - medical type.
  15. Cold pack
  16. Baby power
  17. Salt tablets

From the President

The same spirit of adventure drives amateurs in astronomy and radio. The Enchanted Skies Star Party is organized by hams: Dave Finley, Paul Harden, Jon Spargo and Doug West. Paul and I operated from the Pound ranch observing site. Tom Bopp, whose comet will be here in the spring, wandered in several times each night. One of us would transcribe or translate the conversation. Paul taught him to send dit-di-di-dit-dit, which he did, after talking with an astronomy club president in Michigan. On Saturday night Paul worked an Aussie contester and Hilo, Hawaii all with five watts and a lousy vertical. (Paul met the Hawaiian op at Pacificon, the next weekend). Chuck Broadwell's Bencher paddle, topped with bed speed switches, was the attention getter. An interested person from last year returned, and we spent an hour discussing New Mexico, motorcycles, radio, stars and life. While packing the car on Sunday morning, a lost soul stopped by. His partner had "spent the night in town, and should have been here by now, and there isn't any way to call, and we have to drive to Phoenix." Thank you, Jim Harrison (AB5UO) for calling the motel and easing his concern.

Preparation for the hamfest is nearly complete. The 4400 fliers are on their way. The folks at the Hamfiesta in El Paso put a stack on their table just inside the door. Thanks to Paul for picking such a loudly colored paper and to all who helped tape and label on the 19th.

Remember the club meeting on 13 Nov, 7:30 pm at the Socorro Electric Co-op's meeting house behind the hurricane fence on 5th Street. This is the last meeting of the year, so plans for the Christmas dinner will need to be settled. Bring your calendar. The main topic will be the hamfest. Hone your public relation skills and hawk the raffle tickets. Or offer sagacity at the info table. Guard the gym doors against food and drink. Or set up tables on Friday. The opportunities are limited, so order before midnight. Operators are standing by. (Howard Peavey, K9PV)



Gatherings, gatherings

Upcoming events

Just over the horizon


From the ARRL

VANITY CALL SIGN PROCESSING UPDATE - In the three weeks since Gate 2 opened on September 23, the FCC's Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, office, has worked its way about halfway through the stack of 4527 first-day applications. At this point, Commission personnel are only entering application data in preparation to grant applications, a process an FCC spokesman said would take approximately four weeks. No license grants have been made under Gate 2. Since most of the applications have included the maximum 25 call sign choices, keying each one into the computer has been a painstaking process. The FCC said it would ignore illegible choices in the list.

The FCC will not start making any grants for first-day filers until all day-one applications have been entered into the FCC's computer. Then, applications will be processed randomly by the computer from among those that arrived on September 23, 1996.

About 7% of Gate 2 applicants have been using the FCC's new on-line electronic filing system, available via the FCC's Web page at Paper and electronic applications have equal weight in terms of processing, but electronic applications don't have to be manually transcribed into the FCC's computer. Electronic payment is not yet available.

If your application cannot be granted for any reason, the FCC will dismiss and return it. But to get your $30 back, you must request a refund in writing. The FCC has not announced opening dates for Gates 3 and 4.

Vanity program applicants are advised to refrain from calling the FCC for the latest information on application processing and, instead, to check the latest vanity program information on the ARRLWeb page at or to listen to W1AW bulletins. The KI4HN Web page lists vanity assignments at This address was still working on October 10, but KI4HN reports he's changing Web servers and the new address will be Another good source of the latest FCC grants is the CallBook Server (CBS) Summary at CBS lists all transactions that result in call sign changes. (The ARRL Letter; Vol. 15, No. 10; October 11, 1996)

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, 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.

SARA Officers ---

D. Johnson - Ed.


Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
SARA Newsletter Editor

325 McCutcheon St. W.
Socorro, NM 87801-4535