Socorro Amateur Radio Association


SARA Newsletter ----- "If it happens, it's news to us" ----- January, 1998

SARA NEWS

A Word from the President

Well, 1997 is history. We can look back on a fine Field Day, a reasonably successful hamfest in spite of the weather, and a nice Christmas dinner. We have also provided service to the Fat Tire Fiesta, the Socorro Triathalon, and one mile of I-25. We also have a fine new repeater on the mountain, thanks Jim (WB5GWH). I think we have done well in the past year, so it is OK to toot our own horn a little. My thanks to all of you who made it possible. (AC5BX)

New Mexico Repeater Directory

A "beta-version" of a directory to New Mexico repeaters now resides on the SARA home page at http://griffy.nmt.edu/sara/homepage.html. There are certainly errors in the listings and you are encouraged to provide feedback on the listings presented.

As the World Turns

The saga that is the SARA repeater continues. On the positive side, the episodes of interference on the SARA 146.68 repeater have been eliminated (so far as I am aware) with the subaudible tone now required for access. A regularly scheduled CW message announces that a 100 Hz PL tone is required, but even so, if you are using this repeater or speaking with someone on another repeater, you might make an announcement regarding this change to the SARA repeater. While 100 Hz is the 'advertised' tone, any of the standard subaudible tones should work.

In addition to the tone required for access to the repeater, a 100 Hz tone is now generated on the output allowing utilization of the CTCSS squelch option available on many newer radios. Doing so may provide dramatic improvements to monitoring, particularly in RF-rich environments (esp. near computers that are poorly shielded). Some have worried that this tone would degrade the audio from the transmitter. That might well be the case if your hearing is far better than most, the speaker on your rig is very high fidelity, and the PL filter present in many radios isn't filtering. For the vast majority of users, you'll never notice the difference, unless you are using your CTCSS squelch.

On the negative side, the autopatch has not been operational for some weeks. The patch was disabled after a programming session via telephone that resulted in the controller spontaneously calling my (KB5YIW's) home every thirty minutes. Discussions with the maker of the controller revealed that there is a glitch in the controller software that ties the controller in knots when programmed via the phone. A short-term fix is to reset the controller to default settings, which will require a trip to the repeater site. The trip planned for the second week of December was cancelled due to impassable roads. Conditions have not improved as of this date. The longer-term fix involves replacement software which will be fully developed in March (or so). This software promises to have many added features (and probably a whole new set of bugs). (KB5YIW)

Run to the Borders

A special event station will commemorate the Four Corners boundary shared by the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. This is the only boundary, within the United States where four states share a common point. The event will coincide with the NorCal QRP Club's "QRP To The Field" '98, where this year, the theme is "Run to the Borders". The station call sign will be N4C and it will be in operation beginning April 24, 1998 at 2200 UTC, and ending April 26, 1998 at 1700 UTC. Updated information will be posted at http://www.swcp.com/~n5zgt/. Please check in periodically, or email wa5whnATrt66.com for further information. SASE (#10 envelope) & QSL are requested. The QSL address is: N4C c/o Jay Miller (WA5WHN), P.O. Box 6552, Albuquerque, NM 87197-6552. (WA5WHN)

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