Socorro Amateur Radio Association

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


... was held on March 12th with twenty in attendance. This number fell short of a quorum and the proposed articles of incorporation and revisions to the bylaws not considered. Consideration was deferred until the April 9th meeting. It was the consensus of those attending that it would be appropriate to obtain proxies for consideration of this matter. Proxies are requested from those who do not plan on attending (See Quorum below).

A nominating committee (consisting of Dave Finley, Jon Spargo and Dave Johnson) will present a slate of candidates for each of the officer positions at the April meeting. Additional nominations will be accepted from the floor at that meeting. Election of officers will occur at the SARA meeting scheduled for May 14th.



As reported for the meeting of March 12th, a quorum was not met at that meeting. The proposed Articles of Incorporation and revised bylaws will now be considered at the April 9th meeting. If you believe that you may not attend that meeting, you are strongly encouraged to complete the attached proxy and send that to the address listed. The proxy applies only to that meeting. You may specify either your support or lack of support for the issue. The officers will honor your wishes on this matter. In essence, this proxy may be used as an absentee ballot on this issue. Drafts of these documents are available in advance of the meeting at the Socorro Radio Shack or online at:

From the President

SARA received a late request to participate in this year's Duathalon. Eighty-three people participated in the run-bike-run event. Tom Frawley (KA0YYP), Jim Harrison (AB5UO), and Bob Sparks (WB5QZD) provided commo and water table support. Another amateur radio operator, George MacLeod (WB5TGR) assisted with timing of participants. The Chamber (sponsor) is very pleased. Thank you for a job done well. Your service was above and beyond the call of duty.

On 14 March, Dave Finley (N1IRZ), Chuck Broadwell (W5UXH), and I traveled to Silver City. Karen and Russ Kleinman (WA5Y) provided sustenance and a high speed tour of their key and bug collection: everything from telegraph sounders to present commercial units. Four hundred+ pieces, all displayed in lighted glass cases. The cases are walls in two rooms. Very impressive. We dashed to their club meeting where Dave presented his VLA sermon. We're doing good things with your money. Lew McCoy, antenna designer extraordinaire, struck up a conversation afterward. Very personable. Forty meter cw entertained most of the way home. A great time was had by all.

The next club meeting will be 08 April, 7:30 pm, at the Electric Co-op meeting house. Topics to discuss and decide upon include:

The date for the spring highway trash pickup detail is 26 April. Meet in the Chamber parking lot at 8 am for plastic bags and motivation. Maybe Clarence feels guilty and will use the twenty dollars he found last year to buy doughnuts.

After trolling for trash, grab your qrp gear and run to the boonies for QRP Afield. It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys, maybe even two barrels. Get more states, test antennas, increase your speed, see new scenery, cycle your battery. Whatever the reason, get out and have a few hours of fun. Details at the meeting and on the Wednesday night nets. There will be at least one station near town, so lack of equipment is no excuse. Drop by for a contact or two, or an hour or two. The theme this year is spooky places. Paul Harden and entourage will be operating near, but not too near Area 51, the disavowed nonlocation where aliens may live or be stored.

See you at the meeting, -- Howard (K9PV)

"QRP To The Field"

Saturday, April 26, 1997: Get a jump on June Field Day, by testing your equipment on the "QTTF". Open to all Radio Amateurs using any mode; sponsored by the Northern California QRP Club; single transmitter on the air at one time. Multiple Operators (i.e. Clubs) are welcome, as long as only one transmitter is on the air at one time. Once started, you must use the same power output and location categories. Contest scoring time limit = " 8 continuous hours." Use all bands except WARC. This years theme - "Weird and Strange Locations". Contest Period: Saturday, 1300 UTC to Sunday, 0100 UTC. Contestant to declare the best 8 continuous hours on the log when submitting the entry. Awards: "Top Ten" Scores certificate (the ten stations with the highest point totals); "Participant" certificate for 20 or more contacts (include a 9 X 12 envelope with 3 units of postage). Send a copy of your log along with the station and location description to: "QRP To The Field," 6822 131 Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98006-4038. Get them in by May 15th, 1997. All contest Committee decisions are final. Include a #10 SASE for a copy of the results. The results will be printed in the NORCAL journal "QRPp". For additional information and contest rules visit:

And the beat goes on

Walter Pankratz (KE6BDR) sent greetings via email saying: "Just wanted to say hello. Tapped into your SARA homepage. Read the Dec. 96 QST re SARA. Pretty interesting. One time was quite interested in relocating to Socorro. ... Chose Socorro as a possible future living place if the 'regimentation' in California got to be too much. Received the Socorro newspaper two or three 3 month period. ... So I felt almost like I was reading about my home town when I read the Socorro QST article. Best wishes to the group there."

... And from Tom Waits (AC5JH): "Great job on the homepage. I read the article about your club in the Dec. QST and finally got around to checking it out. As a member of FISTS Intl CW Club, I am involved in promoting CW in the Baton Rouge ARC. We do a 2m code practice twice a week at this time. Several of us are also talking about starting a slow code net. I would be very interested in learning how you conduct your net and your thoughts on it in general. Any info you can offer is appreciated greatly. I would also like to give your net control op a phone call if that would be ok. Thanks for the great homepage and keep up the great work in your area. I will be looking forward to hearing from you."


As a computer-literate amateur radio operator, there's an excellent chance you're active on one or more of the "digital" modes, and that you use Kantronics TNCs in that activity. Also, as an Internet-connected amateur radio operator, there's an equally good chance you use MS Windows and a fast computer. If so, you should know about KaWin - the performance enhancing software designed especially for Kantronics TNCs and MS Windows. Visit the KaWin Home Page, at to learn more and to download the full KaWin system and try it on your own system.

If you do not have web access, reply to this message and request KaWin by email. I'll send you the 1MB installation file as a MIME attachment. To subscribe to the KaWin News mailing list, send email to with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject line, or use the handy subscription link on the KaWin Home Page. (Stan Huntting, KF0IA,

Editor for a Month

The SARA Newsletter editor will be away from the desk from mid-May to mid-June, and the June SARA Newsletter (assembled in late May) "wants" an editor.


Upcoming events

Over the Horizon


Gatherings, gatherings


From the ARRL

Little LEOS, Another view, not - Last month we reported that the Kitchener-Waterloo Amateur Radio Club planned to have representatives of one of the Little LEOs make a presentation at their April meeting. The presentation seems unlikely to occur. The following report from the ARRL Letter outlines the matter.

Canadian Flap Erupts Over Little Leo Invitation - Radio Amateurs of Canada is warning hams north of the border not to be taken in by what it believes might be a "divide and conquer strategy" by the Little LEO industry. On February 22, RAC issued an advisory to all clubs stating that "representatives of large telecom corporations" were approaching Amateur Radio clubs to explain how it would be feasible for the Little LEO and hams to share spectrum in the 146, 220 and 440 MHz bands. The low-earth-orbiting (LEO) satellites would provide data services.

But the Canadian ham club that's at the focus of the flap says RAC has it all wrong. The Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) Amateur Radio Club (KWARC) said it extended the invitation to a representative of ORBCOMM Canada to speak at its April 7 meeting on how its current LEO satellites already share public safety and commercial frequencies. Via its Web page (, the club defended its invitation to ORBCOMM Canada as an open-minded effort to get all the facts. "I am one of the strongest supporters of the RAC, however at this moment in time I am very disappointed at this latest misguided attack on KWARC," said Paul Cassel, VE3SY, in an editor's note. "I continue to oppose any sharing of our 2 meter or 70 cm spectrum. However, I do support an open dialogue be undertaken by the LEO Industry and the Amateur community to discuss joint experimental sharing at 220 MHz. I feel this band best suits the interests of the Amateur Community to experiment with spread spectrum sharing and should meet the needs of the LEO applicants."

In its advisory--signed by RAC President Farrell Hopwood, VE7RD--RAC suggests that a club's "hospitality and broadminded reception" of industry speakers could be turned against hams. RAC says that after briefing clubs like KWARC, the Little LEO industry could approach government claiming it consulted with hams across the country who "greeted them warmly and did not disagree with their ideas." ... RAC has posted its position on its Web page at (The ARRL Letter, Vol. 16, No. 9; February 28, 1997).

FCC Proposes Changes In Spread Spectrum Regs - Responding to a petition for rulemaking from the ARRL, the FCC has proposed in WT Docket 97-12 to adopt changes in its Amateur Service rules governing spread spectrum. In spread spectrum, the energy of the transmitted signal is distributed among several synchronized frequencies within a band and is reassembled at the receiving end. This reduces power density and duration of a transmission on a particular frequency and lets spread spectrum almost invisibly share the same spectrum with users of other, narrowband modes. Spread spectrum also provides improved communication under poor signal-to-noise conditions and in the presence of selective fading and multipath propagation, and the ability to accommodate more communication channels operating simultaneously in the same spectrum.

The League's December 1995 petition asked the FCC to relax its rules to give Amateur Radio more opportunities to contribute to the development of spread spectrum techniques. Specifically, the League sought to have the FCC relax restrictions on spreading sequences and asked for greater flexibility in spreading modulation. In response, the FCC now has proposed to drop rules restricting amateur stations to transmitting only frequency-hopping and direct-sequencing spreading techniques. As requested by the League, the FCC also has proposed to require automatic power control for spread spectrum transmitters, to ensure use of the minimum power level needed to carry out communication.

The FCC also went along with the League's request to permit brief test transmissions using spread spectrum and to allow international spread spectrum communications between amateurs in the US and those in countries that allow hams to use spread spectrum. The current rules allow only domestic communication.

The use of spread spectrum techniques was first approved for Amateur Radio in 1985 for bands above 225 MHz and at power levels up to 100 W, and there has been some experimental amateur operation since then. The FCC also has authorized Special Temporary Authority (STA) in some instances to allow broader SS experimentation. Since spread spectrum was introduced in the Amateur Radio service, commercial spread spectrum applications have been developed, including personal communication services, remote meter reading and position locating. But, the League had argued that rules limitations held back further spread spectrum experimentation. No changes are proposed in the frequency bands where spread spectrum is permitted.

The FCC said the rule amendments would "increase spectrum efficiency and allow amateur operators to contribute to technological advances." Comments on the NPRM in WT Docket 97-12 are due May 5, with reply comments due June 5 (ARRL Letter Vol. 16, No. 10 March 7, 1997).

From Newsline Radio

Ham Round The World Balloon Flight - A ham radio operator plans to fly a high altitude balloon around the world. Bob Martin is KC5LHL and later this year he and two companion balloon pilots will climb into a sealed aluminum capsule and ascend to the edge of space under a four hundred and fifty foot free flying balloon named the Dymocks Flyer. There, he hopes that the earth's winds will carry him around the globe and back to his Australia launch site.
Martin will be carrying an airborne ham radio station and is expected to be available for QSO's during the flight. To find out more about this exciting high altitude ham radio adventure we suggest you visit Bob's home page on the world wide web. The address is simple. Its: You can also reach it on a link from our Newsline home page on the world wide web (Amateur Radio Newsline #1020 28 Feb 1997). (A careful examination will find the Socorro Amateur Radio Association listed among the contributors to this event - ed.)

T Hunt Battle - A battle is shaping up in Albuquerque, New Mexico between the "T Hunters" and some locals hams operating on 146.580 MHz.

According to postings on the VHF Reflector, at least fifteen area hams are on 146.580 all the time. Nothing wrong with that except the that the National T Hunt frequency is 146.565 and whenever a T HUNT is on, their frequency is covered up by the folks on .580.

And here is where it all has gotten gnatty. During a recent hunt someone comes up and tell the operators on .58 that they will have to stop chatting until the hunt is over. Well you know how that sits with a few people. While some move off, others stand their ground and say no. That they are not going to move and the hunters will have to find another frequency.

According to several reflector postings, 146.565 is a national frequency reserved for hidden transmitter hunting, but strictly as a gentlemen's agreement. As the local Duke City rag chewers say, they were never asked if they wanted in on this agreement, and they have no intention on going away. So stay tuned. Who knows where this will end (Via VHF Reflector as reported in Amateur Radio Newsline #1020 28 Feb 1997).

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 from SARA members 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. For information on the cost of advertising by nonmembers contact 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.)

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


Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
SARA Newsletter Editor

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