Socorro Amateur Radio Association

SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- January, 1997


Christmas Banquet

Traditionally, the December SARA meeting coincides with the annual Christmas Banquet. That tradition was observed again this year on the evening of Wednesday, December 11, with some 30 (including SARA's youngest and best behaved member, James Bateman) attended a fine evening of food and socializing at K-Bob's in Socorro. A "thank you" to Jon (KC5NTW) who made the arrangements again this year.

President Howard Peavey (K9PV) took the floor to present the awards for the past year. These awards were in the form of handsome framed certificates prepared by Monte (WB5RZX). This year the Socorro Amateur Radio Association recognizes the outstanding service of:

Paul Harden (NA5N) - We appreciate your willingness to share your talents and time with others through Elmering, and by teaching "The Art of QRP" to hams around the world;

Paul Rhodes (N5YGC) - We appreciate your willingness to serve as ARES Coordinator for SARA, and for being our "Chief Signmaster" for numerous hamfests;

Kalman Oravecz (AJ5B) - We appreciate your willingness in conducting countless VE exams, and for continuing to serve as SARA's "Chief Examiner;"

Ryan Snyder (KC5WDT) - We appreciate your help this year and your enthusiasm in taking on the SARA digipeater. Thanks for your enthusiasm and support;

Felix Barreras (W5BX) - Repeater Maker Award; we recognize Felix for all the work he did in overhauling SARA's 146.68 repeater. We appreciate his hard work in bringing this project to completion; and

Dave Johnson (KB5YIW) - SARA's Vice President, Repeater Boss, Hamfest Honcho, Fat Tire Fiesta Coordinator, IRS Agent, and, most of all, Newsletter Creator.


"... Ham City ..." Kudos

The appearance of Dave Finley's (N1IRZ) article Socorro New Mexico - Ham City USA? in the December issue of QST elicited much positive comment from those attending the SARA/TARA Hamfest [including Marshall Quiat (AG0X), ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Director]. Walt Stinson (W0CP, ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Vice Director) sent an email message saying, "the SARA article turned out great! Congratulations... ." The article has also generated messages and greetings from friends and former colleagues who have departed Socorro. Included among these were messages from Scott Hogin (K7DHF) listed in Flagstaff, AZ; and Carl Preddy (formerly WB4NNO, currently KU2N) now residing in Rochester NY.

Corporate Takeover?

One important item that will be under consideration at the January SARA meeting will be drafts of the proposed Articles of Incorporation and a revised Bylaws for SARA. Incorporation is a step required to obtain tax exempt status for the association. The process will require fundamental revisions to SARA's governance and warrants everyone's participation. Please plan on attending if you can. SARA's existing constitution (Art. VI, Amendments) stipulates that, "Proposals for amendments shall be submitted in writing at a regular meeting and shall be voted on at the next regular meeting, provided all members have been notified by mail of the intent to amend the constitution and/or bylaws at said meeting. A two-thirds vote of the membership present shall then be necessary to amend." Accordingly, the revised documents could be considered by the membership at the February meeting (on 2/12/97). There will be an update in the February SARA Newsletter. Mark your calendars.

Antenna Height Restrictions Here?

According to comments made during a meeting of the Socorro County Commissioners on December 10th, a proposed zoning ordinance, submitted for the Commission's approval last year, includes a height restriction of 35 feet for structures (presumably including amateur radio antennas) erected in the county. It is highly unlikely that this ordinance will be adopted as written since the provision essentially eliminates construction of functional windmills on ranch lands, but it is clear that amateur radio operators in the county should become involved in the revision process if they wish to have a document that reflects their interests.

To date the process of fashioning the county's approach to zoning has been a very open one with citizen input invited at many open meetings. Problems have arisen because those who favor zoning have been the ones who attended the meetings, while those with no interest in zoning have avoided them. In the coming months we should expect a much more balanced discussion. SARA members should be part of that discussion. (D. Johnson)

Which County is this?

Some time ago, Felix (W5BX) noticed that many Socorro amateur radio operators were listed as residing in Sierra County by the QRZ Callsign Server ( After being notified of the discrepancy, Fred Lloyd (AA7BQ), author of the QRZ Ham Radio CDROM, indicated that the problem was fixed. You might like to check out your entry if you get a chance.

Repeater Report

As reported in the December SARA Newsletter, there have been some changes to the 70 cm repeater population in Socorro. During the third week of December, Bob (WB5QZD) installed the 444.275+ machine on the front peak of Socorro Peak. Because of interference from the SEC radios, the PL of 123.7 Hz has been installed. This machine and location offers unparalleled coverage to the City of Socorro as well as good coverage of surrounding areas. If you have a 70 cm capability, check this one out. The 444.750+ MHz machine continues to be in operation. This machine will have a range limited largely to the immediate Socorro area, but it does have crossband capabilities and once a 2 m antenna has been installed, it should be routinely linked to the 146.68+ (Socorro) repeater. If you would like to have this machine linked to other nearby 2 m repeaters for short periods, you may contact either Bob or Dave (KB5YIW) to change the configuration.

FYBO Winter QRP Field Day

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Here it is folks, the formal announcement of the event which will prove once and for all that "QRP is not for Sissies." :-) Yes, it's the FYBO (Freeze Your B____ Off) Winter QRP Field Day, sponsored by the Arizona ScQRPions. This event comes replete with some special considerations for participants (awards, a temperature multiplier and extra points for QSO's made by novices in their sub-bands). To spice things up, there will be a random drawing from all logs received ... (for) a Ten-Tec QRP Xcvr kit, band of your choice. The event is scheduled for 1700Z Feb 22 - 0500Z Feb 23, is QRP only and acceptable modes include: CW, and Phone. For rules and late breaking information point your Web browser to: or contact Dave Johnson.



Gatherings, gatherings

Upcoming events


From the ARRL

FCC Stops Renewal Reminders - As of October 22, the FCC has ceased issuing Form 610R license expiration notices -- reminders to hams that their tickets are going to expire within the next 90 days and that they must request renewal. The last notices sent by FCC covered into February 1997, although the specific date was not available. A Form 610R for renewal must be returned by mail only to the FCC. An FCC Public Notice is expected within a few days.

The demise of the Form 610R means that hams -- whose licenses are issued for ten-year periods -- must take the initiative to remember the renewal date of their tickets and file a Form 610. An FCC spokesman in Gettysburg says the Commission hopes to have a Form 610 available soon on the World Wide Web to permit on-line renewals.

W5YI VEC in Dallas, Texas, has begun mailing renewal reminders and FCC forms to hams whose licenses are about to expire. If you receive a Form 610R directly from the FCC, you should return it only to the FCC. If you receive a renewal notice from the W5YI Group Inc. and if you wish to have the W5YI VEC handle your renewal for a fee, follow the directions and return the renewal form to the W5YI VEC, not to the FCC.

If your license will expire within 90 days, you may renew your license at no cost by completing an FCC Form 610 and returning it to: FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245 (ARRL Letter, Electronic Update October 25, 1996).

Strays - When asked to describe radio, Albert Einstein is said to have provided an eloquent description: "You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head meows in Los Angeles. Do you understand this?" Einstein then continued: "Radio operates exactly the same way---you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat (ARRL Letter Update 10/25/96)."

From Newsline Radio

70 cm Band Loss In Guatemala - Hams have lost out to commercial users of the 70 cm band in Guatemala and the cost could be interference to ham radio satellite operations world wide. This is because Guatemala now intends to put commercial operations across the band. Commercial signals that will probably include the 70 centimeter satellite subband.

Manfred Kolbe, TG9IKE, reports via the Amsat News Service that on Monday, November 18, 1996, the Diario de Centro America published the new law regulating all telecommunications in Guatemala. Part of the law removes ham radio access from all frequencies above 146 MHz except for tiny slivers in the giga hertz region.

The new law was created by a commission from the state owned telecommunications company GUATEL, which consulted the Radio Club of Guatemala about the project. The commission was quite astonished to learn that ham operators operate some 20 satellites for global communications. Even more so when Guatemalan hams supplied a list of amateur satellites with operating frequencies and modes. The existence of the Amateur Satellite Service was also brought to the attention of the CEO of GUATEL. Also told was the chairman of the committee of congress in charge of the new Guatemalan telecommunications law. He was even presented IARU and ITU documentation.

But even with all of this documentation, the decision was made to run the hams off and turn the spectrum over to money making operations. As a result, the 70 cm band in Guatemala which is comprised the frequencies between 430 to 440 MHz has now been declared available for commercial use only.

And its not only Guatemala hams that will face problems because of the change. There is likely be heavy interference to Amateur Satellite Service operations in Region 2 when the transponders on various ham sats pick up commercial signals and rebroadcast them on other bands. Even for low orbiting satellites this will affect an area from southern Canada, all of the USA, Mexico, Central and South America down to Chile and Argentina. Taking into account the future operations of the Phase 3D ham satellite, the situation may even get a lot worse (Newsline Radio - CBBS Edition #1008 - 12/06/96).

SAR'S AND WRC-97 - Hams worldwide could be effected by another attempt to share the 430 to 440 MHz band. The 1997 World Radiocommunications Conference likely will be asked to allocate the band 430-440 MHZ to the earth exploration satellite service and upgrade the status of this service in the bands above 1 GHz. This includes amateur secondary allocations at 1240-1300 MHz; 10-10.025 GHz; 24.05-24.25 GHz; and 78-79 GHz. Current proposals to consider support for SAR's at WRC-97 have studied compatibility between space services and other services.

Proponents would also like to scan temperate forests but operators of surveillance radar have objected that even infrequent interference would be unacceptable. That could rule out operations over North America and Europe, the areas with the greatest number of amateurs and probably those most active in the 70 cm band. Even for those amateurs in the tropical regions, any interference would be infrequent and limited by the need to avoid interference to terrestrial radar (Newsline Radio - CBBS Edition #1008 - 12/06/96).

Hams Want Morse Code - The numbers are in and by a wide margin hams say that they want the Morse code to stay. In a recent survey conducted by the American Radio Relay League, amateurs have made their feelings known. In over rousing fashion, amateurs have said yes to the retention of morse code. Sixty two percent of ARRL members polled said yes to keeping the code. While thirty percent said no. Of all amateurs polled, members and non-members alike, Fifty four percent said yes to keeping the code, while thirty seven percent said no. In this era of the popular no code tech license, amateurs say no to the total no code licensing.

The bottom line. In months passed some high ranking officials have publicly hinted that the ARRL might not be opposed to expansion of privileges for no code hams. As a result of this survey, when the League goes to WRC '99, it will have to stand its ground. It will be forced to say no to those administrations whose telecommunications leaders say that its time to delete the Morse code as a testing requirement for getting ham radio voice operating privileges on bands below 30 MHz (Newsline Radio - CBBS Edition #1008 - 12/06/96).

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, 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.)

SARA Newsletter Advertising Policy

In response to inquiries about inclusion of 'advertising' in the SARA Newsletter, your president has endorsed the following policy. Space in the newsletter will continue to be available at no cost to SARA members who wish to buy, sell or trade amateur radio related items. Items from nonmembers that are of potential benefit to members (i.e. job announcements) will be included at no cost. Ad space will be available to commercial interests on a space available basis and at a rate of $10/column inch. Camera ready copy must be compatible with the newsletter format.

Thank you

The Socorro Amateur Radio Association would like to thank the Albuquerque District office of Lanier Worldwide, Inc. for its generous support of the SARA Newsletter.

SARA Officers

D. Johnson - Ed.


Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
SARA Newsletter Editor

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