Socorro Amateur Radio Association

SARA Newsletter ----- "If it happens, it's news to us" ----- November, 1997


... was held on October 8th with 17 members in attendance.


New SARA 2M Repeater

On Saturday, November 1, Jim Oty (WB5GWH) and Dave Johnson (KB5YIW) traveled to the repeater site on West Peak to install SARA's new Yaesu VXR- 5000 repeater. If you would like to see what the transceiver is like, you can visit the Yaesu web site at There will be a period of testing during which the autopatch/autodial and other features will be configured and refined. The new repeater has all of the features available on the old controller (though these will operate somewhat differently) AND MORE. This controller is quite flexible and will likely permit us to program features so that they mostly conform to the codes employed on the previous controller. For user functions that cannot be made to conform or which were not available on the old repeater, information will be made available, probably with the December Newsletter. We will utilize the same autodial slot assignments used on the old controller. We will have a PL on the output so that those of you with PL decode capabilities on your radios can take advantage of PL squelch.

I believe that it is time for SARA to provide responsible repeater use by having PL access on our machine. I'm going to push for a PL input to be used particularly during those periods when the repeater is constantly 'timing out' due to intermod, beeper tones and long distance propagation. Your comments would be appreciated. There are other features that might be employed; all may be discussed at the November meeting. And an early "Merry Christmas" to you all. (KB5YIW)

SARA/TARA Hamfest 1997

The November meeting will be the last chance to plan for this year's hamfest. If you are interested in late developments, you might visit the Sara homepage at

KC5NTW "Socorro's Man of the Year"

Jonathan Spargo (KC5NTW) was recently named Socorro's Man of the year for 1997. Besides his interests in amateur radio, Jon is very active in many other community affairs, including model railroading and (perhaps his first love) astronomy. Congratulations Jon.

SARA Fall Highway Pickup

Weather was cooperative (breezy, but warm and sunny) for the Fall cleanup of SARA's "own" mile of I-25 north of Socorro. Nearly 40 bags of trash were harvested from the stretch. I'll likely miss some, but among the SARA members participating this Fall were: AA5RH, AB5UO, AJ5B, K8HUH, K9PV, KA0YYP, KB5YIW, KC5FAS, KC5HGJ, KC5RXC, N5YGC, W5UXH and WB5GWH. If I missed you, I apologize. I never really did know who worked the southbound side. (ed.)

Greetings to SARA from the White House

Thurman White (AB5WS) and Joy send greetings to all their SARA friends from the Arkansas White House. While still in Jonesboro, they have moved to a new address. If any of you would like that address before we come up with the next edition of the SARA directory let me know.

New, New Mexico Repeaters

Readers may be interested to know that the MegaLink has grown larger by two recently. A MegaLink machine now resides on Mt. Taylor (Microwave Ridge) further covering the northern and western portions of the state. This machine operates on a frequency of 146.62 (-) and a PL of 100 Hz.

A giant hole has been filled in western New Mexico by a second MegaLink repeater located on Luera Pk. (at 9455 ft.). Luera Pk. is located exactly 22 miles south of Datil between the southern margin of the Plains of St. Augustin and the Continental Divide. The repeater operates on a frequency of 147.14 (+) with a PL of 100 Hz, and should provide coverage well into the northern Gila. Try it out and let us know how (and where) it works.

Thanks Lanier

For much of the last year, the Lanier Worldwide office in Albuquerque copied the SARA Newsletter at no charge. Newsletter text was emailed to Rick (KC5LIA), an employee of Lanier, printed on his home computer, copied at the Lanier office and then hand delivered to me in Socorro. What this has meant for SARA is a considerable saving in the cost of each monthly newsletter. Well, good folks move up and on. Rick's area has changed and he will only rarely be in Socorro making the arrangement unworkable in the future. We all owe Rick and Lanier a great debt of gratitude. Thank you. Oh, and if you know where we can run a few hundred double-sided copies of the newsletter for a saving, let me know.

New Member

SARA welcomes Christine Hase (KC0BSW) as a new member. Many will recognize the name; Christine hails from Colorado Springs, CO, where she lives with her family including long-time SARA member Neil (AB5FR).

Upcoming events

Just Over the Horizon


Gatherings, gatherings


From the ARRL

FCC opens vanity Gate 4 --- Christmas will arrive a bit early for General, Technician Plus, Technician and Novice Class hams. The FCC has announced that vanity call sign program Gate 4--the last vanity gate-- will open December 2, 1997, for General, Tech Plus, Technician and Novice class hams to request a vanity call sign on or after that date. The potential number of applicants from these four licensee groups is huge--well over a half million hams.

Applicants may use either the electronic Forms 610V and 159 on the Web or hard-copy Form 610V and 159--but not both. Both versions--plus fact sheets and answers to frequently asked questions--are available at The application fee is 50 dollars, payable by check (to ''FCC''), bank draft, money order or credit card. Do not send cash. The FCC gives processing priority to electronically filed Forms 610V for which the filing fee and Form 159 have been received. The FCC now requires all vanity filers to include a Form 159, which must be mailed to the FCC with your fee.

It's up to applicants to make sure that their applications do not arrive before December 2, 1997. The FCC will return all applications that arrive early. All other vanity call sign gates will remain open, and Amateur Extra and Advanced class operators continue to be eligible to file for vanity call signs under those filing gates.

Any call sign requested must be appropriate for the class of license you hold. This means that Technician, Tech Plus, and General class licensees may ask for a Group C (1x3) or D (2x3) call sign. Novice class licensees may only request Group D call signs. Electronic filers must mail the Form 159 Fee Remittance Advice to FCC, Amateur Vanity, PO Box 358994, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5994. The Form 159 and the fee must be received within 10 days of electronically filing your Form 610V or your application will be dismissed.

Those filing on document Forms 610V and 159 must mail the application package containing a completed Form 610V with a copy of your license attached, Form 159 and the proper fee in a sealed envelope to FCC, Amateur Vanity, PO Box 358924, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5924.

Application packages via courier or delivered by hand must be prepared in the same way, sealed in a second, outer envelope, and addressed to Federal Communications Commission, c/o Mellon Bank, 525 William Penn Way, 27th Floor, Room 153-2713, Pittsburgh, PA 15259, ATTN: Wholesale Lockbox Shift Supervisor. This address should only be used for applications delivered by hand or courier. For general information, call the FCC's toll-free National Call Center, 888-225-5322 (CALLFCC). (ARRL Bulletin 64)

FCC issues new Form 610 --- The FCC has announced that as of January 1, 1998, Amateur Radio applicants may only submit FCC Forms 610, 610 A and 610B that carry an edition date of September 1997. After the first of the new year, previous editions of Form 610 will not be accepted for filing by the FCC or by Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs). Amateurs may begin using the new Form 610s now. The major change on the new form is a certification that says the applicant has ''read and will comply with Section 97.13(c) of the Commission's Rules'' regarding RF radiation safety and the amateur service section of OST/OET Bulletin No 65, Evaluating Compliance with FCC-Specified Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields. But, Amateur Radio Supplement B of Bulletin 65, which has additional information on how to conduct a routine RF safety evaluation and explains other aspects of RF safety, is still in the draft stages and not yet available to the ham radio community. ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, said it's essential that the FCC make Supplement B available in time for hams to complete their evaluations to meet the deadlines in the rules.

ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, who's been involved in reviewing the draft supplement, said he expects the FCC to release it sometime in November. ''Above all, it is important that the required station evaluation be as easy as possible for hams,'' he said. ''The FCC has pretty much met that goal. Additionally, most hams, by virtue of their power levels, will not need to do an evaluation at all.''

Section 97.13(c) says that before you transmit ''from any place where the operation of the station could cause human exposure to RF electromagnetic field levels in excess of those allowed,'' you have to perform a routine RF environmental evaluation if your transmitter PEP exceeds these limits: 160-40 meters, 500 W; 30 meters, 425 W; 20 meters, 225 W; 17 meters, 125 W; 15 meters, 100 W; 12 meters, 75 W; 10 meters, 50 W; VHF (all bands), 50 W; 70 cm, 70 W; 33 cm 150 W; 23 cm, 200 W, 13 cm 250 W, SHF/EHF (all bands) 250 W. If the routine environmental evaluation indicates that the RF electromagnetic fields could exceed the maximum permissible exposure limits, you must take action to prevent human exposure.

The new Forms 610 may be obtained from the FCC' Web site via the Internet at, at or by fax at 202-418-0177 (request index, or for Form 610 use form code 000610, for Form 610A use form code 006101, for Form 610B use form code 006102). The FCC Forms Distribution Center will accept FCC forms orders at 800-418-3676. ARRL VEs and VE teams will be able to obtain a supply of the new Forms 610 in late November. Individual amateurs may obtain a copy of the new Form 610 by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to: ARRL/VEC, 225 Main St, Newington CT 06111. Include 32 cents postage for each Form 610 requested. (ARRL Bulletin 63)

No Ham "Victory" In Recent Little LEOS Pact -- Several hams have touted a recent FCC announcement about Little LEO allocations as a victory for ham radio. This is not the case, however. The recent announcement simply formalized an agreement among the five remaining Little LEO (low earth orbiting satellite industry) applicants over how to divvy up VHF allocations the industry already shares with US government services.

As noted elsewhere in this edition of The ARRL Letter, a request for additional allocations (and the remote possibility of sharing on amateur frequencies) will be on the table at WRC-97 in Geneva, which kicks off later this month. This is not an issue for the FCC alone to decide, but the FCC has had input to the positions of the US delegation to WRC-97. At this time, there are no US proposals on the table at WRC- 97 that involve Little LEO sharing of Amateur Radio frequencies.

In reporting the new agreement recently, Wireless Week quoted Aileen Pisciotta, attorney for Final Analysis (one of the remaining Little LEOs), as saying: "It is agreed to with the expectation that additional spectrum will be made available in the future." As most hams know by now, the Little LEOs already have proposed sharing three of our VHF and UHF bands to obtain that "additional spectrum" that Final Analysis is "expecting" to get.

The Little LEOs already have access to 148-149.9 MHz (uplink) and 137-138 MHz (downlink), plus some space in the 400 MHz band (ARRL Letter Vol. 16, No. 41).

Abstract of the Minutes for the October SARA Meeting

Announcements - SARA has received confirmation that Sarricino Middle School will be the site of the November 15th hamfest. The school's MESA club will provide concessions; Fleming's students will provide sound. We are pursuing options for insurance. Business - It was moved, seconded and approved that we would charge $5 for tables and for tailgating at the hamfest.

It was moved, seconded and approved that we would obtain 5 items for the grand prize categories.

It was moved, seconded and approved that we would purchase a new repeater for a cost of $1,700. Jim Oty was the lone dissenter. Jim will chair the committee to acquire a new repeater and controller.

Wednesday, December 10, 1997 at 7:00 pm was selected as the time and K-Bob's the place for this year's SARA Christmas dinner. Jon Spargo will confirm these times with the restaurant and get the information to members.

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 Lopezville 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.)

SARA Officers


Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
SARA Newsletter Editor

1307 Lopezville Rd.
Socorro, NM 87801-4853