Socorro Amateur Radio Association

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


... was held on July 9th with 15 members in attendance.


President's Corner ---

Field day has come and gone. This time I can congratulate all of you on a job well done without fear of contradiction.

The intrepid five, who ran the station at Datil Wells were Jim (WB5GWH), Tom (N5PLX), Luis (WB5JMD), Gary (KC5VVE), and Al (WA5POL). They ran one station, and in spite of poor propagation made 168 sideband contacts. Tom (N5PLX) and his wife Birgett provided the picnic which was enjoyed by all.

Meanwhile back at TARA, we operated two stations on the grounds at Macey Center. The CW station made a total of 360 contacts. The SSB station made 233 contacts, for a total of 593. Our thanks to the many operators who kept both going for the full contest. Special thanks to Felix (W5BX) for organizing Field Day, and to Jon Spargo for making the picnic a success.

We have a wonderful opportunity to enhance the public service role of amateur radio here in the Rio Grande Valley. The National Weather Service is bringing the Skywarn project our way. Skywarn uses trained visual spotters to augment radar and other meteorological observations.

Dave (N1IRZ) prepared excellent description of the program, and the spotter class presented by the NWS, for publication in the Defensor Chieftain. By the time you read this, we should all be trained spotters. Since Sandy (KB5YIX), and I (AC5BX) keep a station at the store monitoring the repeater most of the time, we are looking forward to participating in the program.

The next big event on our agenda will be the 1997 Sombrero Ham Fest. We need to start planning at the next meeting. Volunteers will be recruited, so be sure to be present for your favorite duty.

Skywarn ---

For those of you who are now initiated into the world of weather spotting, you might like to check out the Web site organized by the University of Oklahoma, Norman at:

The site includes sections on: supercells, tornado intensity, and other hazards. There is a "Storm Spotter's Glossary" and "Severe Weather Safety Rules".

Slow Code Night Changes ---

Effective July 15th, the SARA slow code net was changed to Tuesdays at 8:00 pm on 28.228 MHz. Organizers will adjust their code speed to accommodate those who are developing their CW skills. Plan to join in to work on your CW. Several of the SARA CW operators meet on this frequency on other nights, usually beginning a little later, around 8:30 pm local time.

No More Daylight Donuts ---

As most of you know the Socorro Daylight Donut Shop has closed its doors and is no longer available for the regular Saturday am coffee klatch. No particular spot has yet been selected as a replacement, so on Saturday mornings, give a call on the SARA (146.68 MHz) repeater to see "where they are this week." If you have suggestions on a permanent location, let them be known. As soon as a location is established, it will be announced here and in the SARA News.

Repeater Report ---

A little more than a month ago lightning struck somewhere on Socorro Peak and took out the autopatch capabilities for the SARA repeater. A call to Mark Reynolds at Tech's ISD resulted in a replaced "card" and the phone was back in operation. This is a reminder that we are back in lightening season and that the power to the peak can be interrupted. If you should hear the ID for the repeater followed by the CW character "B" (for battery), give me a call at 835-1432 or call Tech's ISD office to report that power to the hill is off. The Hill has a diesel generator which kicks on automatically, but runs out of fuel after ~24 hours. ISD still does not have any indicator that they are operating on emergency power until the fuel runs out.

After several weeks of cross band operation, the SARA 444.750 repeater has been taken off the air due to intermod received from the 2M side. The interference is generated on 146.68 MHz which trips the squelch on the 70 cm machine, which intern cycles the 2 M repeater. The solution revolves around either a different 2 M frequency pair of PL access for the 146.68 input to the 70 cm machine.

Fat Tire Fiesta ---

The Sixth Annual Fat Tire Fiesta is scheduled for September 19th to the 21st, and SARA has been asked to assist with communications for the event. Several of the "old standard" rides are included (South Baldy Hill Climb, Sevilleta, Bosque and Trinity rides), but there are several new ones as well (Ozane Stage Stop, Strawberry Peak, Riverine Parks rides). The Socorro Amateur Radio Association has an important role to play in providing communications for this popular event. Planning will begin in earnest in early September.

Where are the Bateman's? ---

Monte (WB5RZX), Jean (N5HZV) and James have come to rest in Huntsville. Contact info: P.O. Box 948, Madison, AL 35758; phone 205-464-9664. Monte's email address is:

Upcoming events ---

Just Over the Horizon ---

Nets ---

Gatherings, gatherings ---


From the ARRL ---

FCC opens Gate 3! - The long wait is over for advanced class amateurs. The FCC has just announced that it will open filing Gate 3 of the Vanity Call Sign Program on Wednesday, August 6, 1997. Advanced class hams will be able to apply for a call sign appropriate to their license class on or after that date.

Applicants must file either a paper FCC Form 610V or electronically via the FCC's Web site at and pay the current $30 fee (ARRL Letter Online, 7/4/97, v. 16, no. 27).

ARRL SEEKS EXPANSION OF PRB-1 - The American Radio Relay League has asked the FCC to strengthen PRB-1, the FCC's 1985 limited pre-emption of local zoning ordinances that applies to antennas. The petition also asks that an antenna height of 60-70 feet be declared as "reasonable" accommodation for amateurs and that burdensome conditions for land use be removed.

The League wants it made clear that a municipality still must make a reasonable accommodation for amateur communications even if it has denied a permit to an amateur. Furthermore, the ARRL wants states and local authorities to apply to the FCC for a waiver if local restrictions intrude upon the new proposed (Section 97.15(e) FCC antenna regulations. The FCC assigned RM-8763 to the ARRL proposal (W5YI).

From Newsline ---

Newsline Announces N5ZGT As 1997 YHOTY Winner - The "Duke City" Albuquerque, New Mexico is the place that gives us and you this years Young Ham of the Year Award winner. His name is Brian Mileshosky; his call sign is N5ZGT and he is the epitome of what everyone believes a young ham radio operator should be.

Brian was on a cellular telephone at a Boy Scout in rural New Mexico, over 150 miles from home, when Capt. Larry Zettwoch, KR4IF who heads up our Awards Committee and I brought him the news.

"Well, congratulations. You were selected by three individuals who reviewed your package along with some other packages. You were a unanimous decision that you be the 1997 Young Ham of the Year." Zettwoch

"Great! Glad to hear that." Mileshosky
"How do you feel?" Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF
"I don't know." Mileshosky

After it all sank in for a few minutes, we got the opportunity to ask Brian if he had any words of encouragement for other young hams. Brian had plenty to say:
"Don't just get your license and sit around with it. Advance and excel in the hobby. Do everything you can to make it a better place because as youth, they are the future of this hobby. They are the ones who will make it fly or crash to the ground." Mileshosky

Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, was chosen 1997 Young Ham of the Year based on his total dedication to the service and the people in it. Even though he is only 17, he already holds a General class license, is an Eagle Scout who recruits other new young hams through scouting; is President of his local Explorer Post, a regular net control station, the youth columnist for Worldradio magazine. In fact there is so much more that we really do not have the time to report it all.

One thing we do want to tell you is that one of Brian's career aspirations is that of becoming an astronaut. He will be entering the University of New Mexico this fall to begin a full four year course in engineering, but before that he will get a chance to find out what astronaut training is like. This is because as a part of his award Brian received an expense paid week at Spacecamp courtesy of CQ Magazine. He also gets to spend the weekend of August 15th through the 17th at the Huntsville Hamfest courtesy of Yaesu U.S.A. corporation. We at Newsline will be presenting Brian with the award plaque which is this year sponsored by Dave Bell, W6AQ of QRZed Media Corporation. This presentation will take place the evening of August 16th at the Huntsville Hamfest grand banquet. Obviously we will be there to bring you all a live report (Newsline Radio - CBBS Edition #1040 - 07/18/97).

New FCC Consumer Info Number - Speaking of RFI and TVI problems. Word that the FCC's old Consumer Assistance number in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is being discontinued. All calls now should go to the new, toll free number, (888) 225-5322.

For the time being, calls to the old number will ring over to the new number after a little message that informs the caller of the change (Newsline Radio - CBBS Edition #1040 - 07/18/97).

Abstract of the Minutes for the July SARA Meeting --- The meeting was called to order by Al (AC5BX) at 7:35 pm. Fifteen members were present.

Reports - Al (AC5BX) reported on Field Day at campus and Jim Oty (WB5GWH) reported on the Datil Wells Field Day station.

Old Business - Our certificate of incorporation has not seen any progress yet.

New Business - Dave Finley (N1IRZ) reported on Skywarn, a program sponsored in our area through the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. The Service would like to have trained spotters in our club-area and would be willing to come to Socorro to train interested members - about a two hour session. A session will be arranged for SARA later this month.

Paul Rhodes (N5YGC) spoke on the status of ARES. We have tried to register with the ARES state representative, but it is not clear whether or not we are currently officially recognized as an ARES affiliate.

General Comments - Regularly scheduled "Slow" code practice will be changed from Thursdays to Tuesday evenings. Time and frequency remain the same. SARA CW operators often congregate starting at about 8:30 pm on other evenings.

Al stated we will soon have to consider the upcoming hamfest, and all that has to be done to get prepared.

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm. Respectfully submitted: Agnes M. Halls (KA5KIE).

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 1307 Lopezvillle Rd., Socorro, NM 87801-4853, 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 ---

President: Al Braun (AC5BX) : 505-835-1061
V. President: Bill Brundage (K8HUH) : 505-835-3916
Secretary: Agnes Halls (KA5KIE) : 505-835-4985
Treasurer: Tom Frawley (KA0YYP) : 505-835-3931


Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
SARA Newsletter Editor

1307 Lopezville Rd.
Socorro, NM 87801-4853