Socorro Amateur Radio Association

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


Repeater Report

Since the last report, the status of the SARA 146.68 MHz repeater has not changed. While the repeater continues to work satisfactorily, the autopatch is not enabled. Bad road conditions followed by other demands on the time of the control operators have meant that a planned visit to the repeater site has not yet occurred. Hopefully weather and work schedules will permit a remedy to the problems with the autopatch in the near future.

Opening for Wordsmith

I've enjoyed many aspects of serving as editor for SARA News since preparing my first issue in July 1996. In many ways it seems like I've only just done a couple month's worth. In other ways, it seems like virtually every moment away from work is devoted to some aspect of SARA. I have several SARA-related projects that have been postponed for far to long and many personal challenges that I plan to address. There are several reasons why preparation of the May 1998 issue will be my last. First among these relates to involvement. We can all point at several of our colleagues who have been deeply involved, serving in several capacities: elected and appointed. It is crucial for the long-term health of any group like the Socorro Amateur Radio Association that as many members as possible contribute to the activities of the association. As May approaches, I encourage you to consider a higher level of participation. We will need at least four new officers and a newsletter editor. Give it a try. It could be a great deal of fun.

Upcoming events



Gatherings, gatherings


From the ARRL

Sputnik PS2/RS-17 officially declared dead - It's official. The Sputnik PS2/RS-17 mini-satellite ceased transmitting on December 29, 1997. The little satellite, a one-third scale replica of the original Sputnik 1, beep-beeped its way around the globe for 55 days, more than two weeks longer than it had been projected to last. The 200-mW transmitter was powered by lithium batteries. The Sputnik PS-2 was launched by hand from the Russian Mir space station on November 4, 1997, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launching of the original Sputnik by the USSR in 1957. The original Sputnik only transmitted for about one month.
The Sputnik PS2 beacon, on 145.82, was widely monitored and recorded around the world. The satellite was fabricated by students in Russian and on France's Reunion Island. Sputnik 40 Years, which sponsored the satellite project, said the last known recordings of the Sputnik PS2 beacon were made on December 29 at approximately 2100 UTC by a ham in Washington and by FR1AJ on Reunion Island. At the time, the data indicated an internal temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.
Those tracking the satellite reported that the Sputnik PS2's beacon signal had continued to get weaker as the end approached. Even after the beep-beep ceased, however, the satellite's unmodulated oscillator continued to transmit for a while longer.
Reception reports go to The Radio Club of Jules Reydellet school on Reunion Island. Those whose reports are confirmed will receive an approximately 6x9-inch color certificate on high-quality paper with number identification and the radio club stamp. Requests for these certificates should be made only by letter with an SASE (6x9 inch) and two (2) IRCs. Do not send requests via e-mail. The mailing address is FR5KJ Radio Club, 103 Rue de la Republique, 97 489 Saint Denis Cedex, Reunion Island (ARRL Space Bulletin 001, CT January 9, 1998).

Winter Games special event - Special event station 8NØWOG will operate from February 7 through February 22 during the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Nagano Japan. The station will be sponsored by the Japan Amateur Radio League and will be available for operation by amateurs from any country. If you're planning to be in Nagano for the games, don't forget your Amateur Radio license. 8NØWOG will be at the Nagano City Warm-Hearty (Fureai-Fukushi) Center, 1714-5, Midori-cho, Nagano. Operating hours will be 0930 until 2100 JST. HF bands will include 160 through 10 meters, SSB and CW. The station also will operated on VHF and UHF. For more information, contact Kimihiko Koyanagi, JAØTBJ, e-mail (The JARL News, volume 17, Number 4 , January 23, 1998)

KB6LQS survives balloon failure - Dick Rutan, KB6LQS, and an accomplice were forced to abort an around-the-world balloon flight attempt January 9, parachuting from the craft just an hour after launch from a site near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The fabric in the propane-fueled balloon developed a flaw which forced the occupants to abandon the so-called "Global Hilton." Rutan, who won acclaim for circumnavigating the globe in an ultralight aircraft in 1991, was only slightly injured. The other crewmember, Dave Melton, suffered a dislocated hip. According to Rutan, the jump was the safest option as the crew faced the prospect of an explosion onboard the craft. Following the crew's evacuation, the balloon caromed out of control at about 100 miles per hour before it crashed into electric lines and caught fire in Texas. Rutan's flight was another in a recent series of unsuccessful attempts to circle the globe by balloon (This Week in Amateur Radio in the ARRL Letter, Volume 17, Number 3; January 16, 1998).

Special Event Stations


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