Socorro Amateur Radio Association

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



SARA Christmas Banquet

 SARA's Annual Christmas Banquet is scheduled for Wednesday, December 10, 1997 beginning at 7:00 pm in the Banquet room at the Socorro K-BOB's. This year K-BOB's would like to narrow the menu items for our group. So that this may be accomplished, please do the following:

  1. From the menu below, select, and list in order three items that you would consider for your meal that evening. If you have special dietary requirements, you should make note of these as well;
  2. By Friday, 12/5 at 5:00 pm, communicate these choices to Jon Spargo (KC5NTW) by phone (work: 835-7305, home: 835-1606), email (, on the radio (146.68 SARA repeater, esp. during the Wednesday nite ARES net) or (if you have one trained to return to Jon) carrier pigeon. Jon will assemble these into the menu items available for the SARA Banquet. The final choices will be posted on the SARA Web page. If you don't have access to the Internet, call Jon or Al (AC5BX). See you there! Ho, ho ho!

K-Bob's Menu Options

Chicken & Seafood

 Steaks & Prime Rib (served with baked potato):

 Did We Blow It?

 Due to a lack of communication last month, someone who renewed their membership (we did cash the check) did not have their renewal entered into the database. Check the mailing label on this newsletter. If you did renew and your label reflects the old expiration, date let me know (see 'Submissions to SARA Newsletter', below) and I'll correct the oversight. (ed.)

 New SARA 2M Repeater

 The autopatch is configured on the new controller and works in the same way as on the old controller. Remember that you should enter the access code and phone number without pausing between the two.

We have had our usual spate of interference on the SARA repeater during the month of November. For that reason we will be going to PL access beginning on Sunday, December 15, 1997. We will have a PL of 100Hz on the input and output. If you radio(s) do not have this particular tone, let me know and we'll try to accommodate you. Set it up now and you'll never know the difference. (KB5YIW)

 SARA/TARA Hamfest 1997

 There was one, but at the time the SARA Newsletter went to press, no official statement was forthcoming. It is the understanding of the editor that we managed to end up in the black after an initial tally of the expenses and earnings was made.

 And the Grand Prize Winners are

 Upcoming events



Gatherings, gatherings

SARA meetings are held, beginning at 7:30 pm on the second Wednesday of each month, in the SARA clubhouse (704 5th Street, between Manzanares and Abeyta, and behind the chain link fence).

Everyone is invited to coffee and donuts every Saturday ~8:30 to 9:30 am. Folks seem to visit the Socorro McDonalds regularly. On Saturday mornings, give a call on the SARA (146.68 MHz) repeater to see "where they are this week."



 From the ARRL

 FCC Issues RF Safety Supplement B To OET Bulletin 65 - Hams now have basic guidelines and tools to evaluate their stations for compliance with the FCC's RF exposure guidelines that start phasing in January 1, 1998. The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology issued the long-anticipated Amateur Radio Supplement B to its OET Bulletin 65 on November 18. The FCC worked closely with the Amateur Radio community to develop the new supplement. Several ARRL Headquarters staff members and Technical Advisors reviewed preliminary drafts of the supplement. ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, has been the League's point man for RF safety and exposure issues.

"It has been my pleasure to work with the FCC staff and the amateur community in finalizing Supplement B," Hare said. "All who have been part of this process deserve the thanks of the entire amateur community."

Supplement B, entitled Additional Information for Amateur Radio Stations, contains detailed information specific to ham radio stations. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the FCC's OET Bulletin 65 (Version 97-01), Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields. The revised Bulletin 65 was issued earlier this year. Supplement B covers definitions of RF radiation and discusses the FCC exposure guidelines and their applications, methods of predicting human exposure, estimating compliance distances, and controlling exposure to RF fields. The supplement runs approximately 70 pages. Among its noteworthy highlights are numerous easy-to-use tables based on various frequencies, power levels and antenna configurations to help hams determine whether their stations comply with the FCC's published RF exposure guidelines. Most tables show compliance distance--the distance that an antenna needs to be located from areas of exposure to be in compliance. (For a closer look, see "FCC RF-Exposure Regulations--the Station Evaluation," by Ed Hare, W1RFI, which will appear in the January issue of QST.)

The new RF exposure rules go into effect January 1, 1998 for all new stations and for those filing a Form 610 with the FCC after that date. Existing stations have until September 1, 2000 to comply with the new rules. But, existing stations making changes that could affect RF exposure from their station--such as increasing power or relocating antennas--must evaluate that change if done after January 1, 1998.

As first announced, the FCC set a power threshold of 50 W to trigger the need to do a station evaluation. In late August, the FCC revised the power level thresholds to trigger a routine Amateur Radio station RF exposure evaluation. Those changes were welcome news for most hams. The newest guidelines raised its original 50-W PEP threshold on all bands except 10 meters through 2 meters, where it remains at 50 W PEP. The FCC went along in part with an ARRL request and established a sliding scale for threshold levels dependent upon frequency. The revised thresholds (all PEP) are 500 W for 160 through 40 meters, 425 W on 30 meters (the maximum legal power is 200 W), 225 W on 20 meters, 125 W on 17 meters, 100 W on 15 meters, 75 W on 12 meters and 50 W on 10 meters. The threshold for all VHF bands is 50 W. On UHF, the threshold level is 70 W on 70 cm, 150 W on 33 cm, 200 W on 23 cm, and 250 W on 13 cm and higher frequencies.

The threshold for amateur repeaters is 500 W effective radiated power (ERP) if the repeater antenna is located on a building or is less than 10 meters above ground. Stations operating at or below these respective power levels are categorically excluded from having to conduct a routine RF radiation evaluation. Mobile and portable (hand-held) devices using push-to-talk operation generally are also exempt from evaluation. But, all stations--regardless of power level--still must comply with the RF exposure limits that become effective New Year's Day.

OET Bulletin 65 and the new Supplement B are available at Copies are available from International Transcription Service Inc, 1231 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20036; tel 202-857-3800; fax 202-857-3805. (ARRL Letter, Volume 16, Number 46; November 21, 1997)


 Working Model Sputnik Is On The Air! - Reports from several places indicate the working model Sputnik PS2 satellite launched Monday, November 3, from the Russian Mir space station is beeping away on 145.82 MHz. The one-third scale Sputnik model was built by students in Russia and France to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original Sputnik 1 satellite. Sputnik 1, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957, was the first artificial Earth satellite. The original Sputnik 1 transmitted a beacon on approximately 20 MHz.

The Sputnik model was launched by hand from Mir during a space walk by Cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Anatoly Solovyev, who turned on the transmitter and checked out reception aboard Mir before launch with help from US astronaut David Wolf, KC5VPF. The beacon is audible in either FM or SSB mode. The beacon transmitter runs approximately 250 mW. The 500 mm antennas are circularly polarized.

Among those reporting reception of the beacon was Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, near Des Moines, Iowa. He reports monitoring the Sputnik PS2 on November 3 from 1228 to 1238 UTC. He says the frequency was approximately 145.827 MHz at acquisition of signal (AOS) to 145.819 at loss of signal.

Mario Cajar, N1NYJ, of New Britain, Connecticut, also heard the Sputnik on November 4 at approximately 145.82 MHz. Both he and Wallio indicated that the Sputnik is following approximately the same orbit as Mir. Cajar reports he heard the beacon signal very well during a seven-minute pass using a 2-meter hand-held transceiver and a scanner antenna. Ray Soifer, W2RS, in Glen Rock, New Jersey, said he heard the Sputnik model "loud and clear" on November 3. "It was 20 dB over S9 on my main station receiver, but also full quieting at times on a hand-held with a rubber duck," he said in an Internet posting to the SAREX group. "Congratulations to one and all."

Bob Gonsett, W6VR, reports hearing the mini-Sputnik from his QTH near San Diego on November 4. He reports a "fairly weak signal" on the near-horizon pass and "no QRM of any kind on 145.82 MHz during several hours of monitoring." Trevor Smith in Melbourne, Australia, also heard the mini-Sputnik this week with a good signal.

On Reunion Island, a great cheer went up as hams, students, and teachers gathered to listen to the Sputnik model as it passed overhead on its initial orbit and heard the beacon signal from space for the first time. Students from the FR5KJ radio club at Jules Reydellet College in St Denis, Reunion Island, and at the Polytechnic Laboratory of Nalchik Kabardine in Russia cooperated in building the mini-Sputnik. The Russian students built the satellite body, while the French students fabricated the transmitter inside. Two working models of the Sputnik were assembled and transported to Mir, but only one was launched.

Reception reports go to FR5KJ, the club station at College Reydellet, 103 rue de la Republique, 97489 Saint Denis Cedex, Reunion Island. Miles Mann, WF1F, says reception reports also may be sent to Sergei Sambourov, PO Box 73, Kaliningrad-10 City, Moscow Area, 14070, Russia. Include an SASE and one IRC for a certificate.

Gerard Auvray, F6FAO, requests that those receiving the mini-Sputnik not forward .wav files as the project team has no time to analyze them. He requests reports include date, UTC and local time, frequency, and, optionally, the temperature (as determined from the conversion table--see below).

The frequency of the beacon indicates the satellite's internal temperature. The scale runs from 1361 Hz at 50 degrees C to 541 Hz at -40 degrees C. Auvray says the temperature has been relatively stable at between 27 and 32 degrees C for the past few days. Here's the scale:

Degs (C) 










Freq (Hz)










 (ARRL Letter, Volume 16, Number 44; November 7, 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 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