Socorro Amateur Radio Association

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


There were 24 members in attendance at the November 13th meeting.


Club Christmas Banquet

Our annual Christmas banquet is scheduled for Wednesday December 11 at 6:30 pm. We have reserved the Banquet Room at K-Bob's and initially estimated that about the same number as last year (~40) will attend. However, K-Bob's has asked us for an estimate of the number of attendees at least a week before the date of the banquet.

This year, the menu has been simplified considerably. Below you will find a description of what is available and pricing. There will also be a small wet bar set up in the banquet room that will allow you to purchase beer or wine, at an additional cost, to go with your dinner. As it was last year, everyone will be responsible for paying for their own meals.

BANQUET MENU(Their descriptions - not mine!):

MERCHANT'S STEAK -- A 7 oz. New York Strip--K-Bob's special cut of an American Classic--charbroiled to a medium temperature and served with a freshly baked potato with all the fixin's.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN -- A boneless, skinless chicken breast, marinated and charbroiled, served on a bed of rice pilaf with Teriyaki sauce for dippin'. Includes steamed broccoli spears.

CATFISH FILET DINNER -- Two boneless catfish filets, hand dipped in K-Bob's signature cornmeal breading and golden fried to perfection. Served with hushpuppies and choice of steak-cut fries or creamy coleslaw.

THE EXTRAS -- All meals include warm bread and a garden tossed salad for starters, your choice of iced tea, coffee or soft drink, and warm fruit cobbler for dessert.

FOOTIN' THE BILL -- Price per meal is only $9.00. Add the Salad Wagon for only $1.29 per meal. Please add sales tax, if applicable, and servers gratuity.

Well, that is pretty much it. Hope we have a good turnout this year. I would like to ask you all to indicate to me, by Wednesday December 4th, if you plan to attend. This is not required but will help K-Bob's plan for meals. You can reach me by email at or by phone at work at 835-7305 or at home at 835-1606. If you decide to attend at the last minute, not to worry, just come on in! When you contact me you do not have to indicate a meal preference unless you want to. You can also change your mind about the food at the last minute. See you at the banquet! (Jon Spargo, KC5NTW)

SARA Highway Pickup

At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, some ten SARA members assembled at the Chamber of Commerce before setting out for SARA's very own mile of I-25. It was a beautiful morning - even to harvest trash. The task went quickly (we were done by 10:00 am) and 30 bags of trash, plus assorted items that did not fit well in the trash bags, were collected. Those arriving at our hamfest from points north, were greeted by a cleaner stretch of highway. A 'thank you' to all who assisted this year.

For those of you who are doubtless sorry to have missed this semiannual event, rest assured that that you will have a chance to participate in the Spring. The first bits of "seed' trash hit the shoulder from a passing car, even before the last SARA member left this Fall edition.


Dave Finley's article, Socorro, New Mexico, Ham City, USA, appears on pages 43-45 in the December 1996 issue of QST. Check it out.

SARA Hamfest

There are a great many people and organizations that should be thanked for making the 1996 Socorro Hamfest the great success it was.

Grand Prize Winners - Results of the Grand Prize drawings on Saturday afternoon are as follows: ICOM T7A HT to KK5TH, Dan Kirby of Albuquerque; ICOM IC-2000H mobile to AA5RH, Clarence Seagraves of Socorro; and EM-TECH QRP kit to N5GU, Drew Riedle of Albuquerque. Les Lines (K5SDF) from Bosque Farms was voted to have displayed the best vintage radio (his '36 RCA receiver) and was awarded a subscription to Electric Radio.

A ham by any other name ...

Many SARA members received an unusual email message last month. While it was sufficiently long that it cannot be repeated in its entirety, portions are included here. It is intended to serve as a report on the FCC's issuance of the first Vanity Gate 2 calls, as well as a milestone in the life of one of our esteemed colleagues.

Hello Fellow Hamsters:

Viva dog day, viva vanity forever, hallelujah, hoop-la, olay, muncho gusto. Somewhere along the bumpy road of life I learned that every dog has its day. Well folks, after many years of bouncing on that bumpy road, the day for this old dog has arrived. The FCC gods, with the holy intervention of Jesus Christ have found me fit to bestow upon me a much coveted ONE by TWO call sign. ... . And so it is with profound pride and extreme happiness that I proudly announce to the world that henceforth I shall be known as ... W5BX. WB5LXA, "Una ves nada mas." ... . Thank you for letting me share my expression of happiness and gratitude. ... .

de Felix, W5BX

Call me anything, but late for dinner

The following is abstracted from a message sent by Doug Hendricks (KI6DS) to "Low Power Amateur Radio Discussion" as: Pacificon Report, Part II on 10/21/96.

... the Sunday morning 10:00 AM session, which I expected to attract 30 or 40, was full too! Paul Harden came in late and had to stand in the back of the room!! Paul Harden, NA5N, author of the QRPers Handbook for Homebrewers was the 3:00 speaker and did one of the best jobs that I have ever seen of teaching. Paul is a natural teacher, and he has the ability to get information across, and he does not talk down to his audience, it is a "feeling" of two way communication that all good teachers have. Paul explained how a NorCal 40 works, and provided a handout with a schematic of a NorCal 40, Emtech NW80-20, and MFJ9020 series transceiver. He used the handout to show how each designer did slightly different things to accomplish the same end. A truly eye-opening experience. I learned more from talking to Paul and listening to his presentation than I have in years of reading. Paul is a treasure. He has agreed to return next year, and we will have him for two sessions, as there just is not enough time for him to share with us what he has in one 45 minute talk.

I really do think that Paul should get the perseverance bad luck award. He had his flight changed by the airline, he got in to the Oakland airport 4 hours early, and decided to take a taxi to the hotel. He had no idea how far it was, but now can tell you that it is $60 worth (grin). Don't worry, we reimbursed him. Then Sunday, Paul was to take the airline shuttle bus back, and was to leave at 10:07. His watch was 5 minutes slow, and he missed the bus. He came walking in to my presentation right after I had told everyone that he was gone and that if they missed buying a copy of his book, that they would need to send off for it. No sooner had I said that than Paul walks in, carrying his SLV pole, and a sheepish grin on his face. We worked out transportation with Bob Tellefsen taking Chuck and Paul to the airport. Thanks Bob for your help. The good news is the Paul was able to sell several more of the QRPers' Handbook. ... .

Repeater Report

Those of you with 70-cm capabilities will see some changes in the next month or so. The WB5QZD machine, which currently operates on 444.375+, will be brought off the hill. Since 444.375 MHz is also the output frequency for two Mega-Link machines (Apache Springs and Ruidoso) some users have experienced interference from these other repeaters. Consequently Bob Sparks requested and received another frequency pair for the machine.

If the WB5TGR machine (444.750+) does not suffer excessive receiver desensing it will be installed, at least during the interim. When the WB5QZD machine is returned, it will be installed on Socorro Peak, directly overlooking the city and operate on 444.275+. This location should provide superior coverage for the city. The decision has not yet been made regarding the use of an access PL tone on this machine. If the machine can be operated without one, it will. If a PL must be used, it will be 123.7 Hz.

Ryan Snyder (KC5WDT) is hard at work on reestablishing digipeater capabilities for Socorro. Although there is currently no schedule for returning the machine to the top of Socorro Peak, Ryan is getting a Mastr II returned to operation so that the digipeater can be put on the air for testing. The digipeater will be located down in Socorro during this phase, but you might try to log on occasionally to see how things are going. For those on email, periodic announcements will keep you abreast of developments.

73 Amateur Radio Today

The free subscription received from 73 Amateur Radio Today was awarded as one of the hourly prizes at the 1996 SARA Hamfest. This does not mean, however, that we no longer benefit from the 'deal'. Last month, I received an envelope containing a document labeled: "Boiler Plate," and containing over forty entries which I assume are editorials written by Wayne Greene (W2NSD/1). I am invited to use these when my "... club members let ..." me down. 'Nuf said?

From the President

The hamfest was a success. Sixty-plus tables of temptation. The lectures and satellite demo were well attended. The VE session produced an extra, an advanced, 6 Tech+, 9 Tech, and a novice. Most of the vendors are anxious to return. People came to Socorro and had a good time. That's what matters. (el jefe, K9PV)



Gatherings, gatherings

Upcoming events


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro has employment vacancies for two technicians and one engineer. One position is for an Electronics/Microwave Technician to build, install and repair receiver systems and subsystems on the VLA and VLBA radio telescopes. Another position is for a Digital/Analog Electronics Technician to build, install and repair monitor and control subsystems on the VLA and VLBA. The third position is for a Radio Interference Protection Electronics Engineer to identify, prevent, mitigate and monitor interference to the VLA and VLBA.

Persons interested in applying for any of these positions should contact Bill Brundage (K8HUH), NRAO VLA-VLBA Electronics Division Head, at 505-835-7120 (M-F, 8-5, request page) or e-mail
- 27 Nov 1996


From the ARRL ---

Rocky Mountain Division Director: Election Results - The ARRL Committee of Tellers for the election of directors and vice directors for the 1997 through 1998 term met at ARRL Headquarters November 15 to count ballots. Here are the results:

Rocky Mountain division for director,
Marshall Quiat, AG0X, 1490.
Gunnar Carlson, AE4W, 768. ... . (ARRL Bulletin 81, November 16, 1996)

Gate 2 on hold - The FCC has confirmed reports that no more Gate 2 vanity call sign applications will be processed until Commission personnel deal with complaints from several hams whose vanity applications arrived too early and were dismissed. An FCC spokesman in Washington said the affected hams all had used the same express service and had requested delivery on Saturday, September 21, so they would be in the queue for the opening day of Gate 2 on September 23. Instead, all of the applications arrived on Friday, September 20, were designated as ''untimely filed'' and dismissed by the FCC.

The affected applicants are seeking to have their applications reinstated. The FCC spokesman said he had ''no idea'' when a decision would be made in the matter. ''The irony of it is, in many cases, the call signs they would like have already been assigned,'' he said. The affected applicants were not aware that their applications had been dismissed until a week or so after the opening of Gate 2. The FCC spokesman said the issue is under review. At best, the applications could be included with the day-two applications; at worst, they could stay dismissed, he said. ... .

Meanwhile, an FCC spokeswoman said personnel at the Gettysburg office were ''a little more than halfway'' through the stack of up to 550 day-one vanity applications that needed some kind of special handling--which the FCC calls WIPS for ''works in process.'' As many as 550 first-day applications ended up in WIPS, either because the FCC was unable to match one of the applicant's call sign choices or because the application contained ''inconsistencies''--some as simple as a date of birth on an application that was missing or failed to match one already in the FCC's database. (ARRL Bulletin 84, November 19, 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