Socorro Amateur Radio
SARA Newsletter ----- "If it happens, it's news to us"
----- March, 1998
The following is taken from the Bylaws of the Socorro
Amateur Radio Association.
Section 3: Nomination of
Officers: At the regular meeting held in March of each
year, an officer nominating committee of three members
shall be elected from and by the membership of the
corporation. It shall be the duty of this committee to
nominate candidates for each of the offices to be filled at
the Annual Meeting in May. The nominating committee
shall report its nominees to the membership at the
regular meeting in April. Before the election at the
Annual Meeting in May, additional nominations from
the floor will be accepted.
The term "alligator" (all mouth and no ears) has been
applied to Socorro's repeater on more than a one
occasion in the last year or so. With the Mastr II the
problems were related to receiver desensing and in the
initial months of the Vertex's residence on the mountain,
the problem related to a misaligned receiver front end.
The alligator now has ears.
Jim (WB5GWH) and I visited the repeater site on M-
Mountain (on 2/24/98), Jim performed an incantation
over the receiver front end, and viola the ears now match
the voice. In several tests from NE Albuquerque, I could
bring up the repeater with 5 watts mobile and with a
"strong signal" response from the controller, where
formerly I could not even bring up the repeater with 45
Also during this repeater visit, we reinitialized the
controller allowing me to program once again. As of
3/1/98, the repeater is running on most cylinders. Which
ones are firing?
What isn't working?
- The PL access is enabled and you will now have
some control over it. You should use a CTCSS tone
of 100 Hz to access the repeater, although any
standard tone will work. You may disable the PL
squelch. Key "#100" and the carrier operated squelch
(COS) will be enabled (the CTCSS squelch will be
disabled). It is important to note that this command
may be delivered without a PL on your signal. Even
though the repeater squelch will not break, the
controller will receive, decode and implement the
command. To return the repeater to PL squelch, key
"*100". Should you forget to do so, the repeater will
automatically return to PL squelch mode after 10
minutes if there is no input to the receiver. Whenever
the repeater ID contains the suffix "PL" it is in PL
squelch mode. If the suffix is missing, the repeater is
still in COS squelch mode.
- There is again a 100 Hz tone on the output permitting
you to use the tone squelch feature on your radio.
- The autopatch works! Access to the autopatch is with
the long established SARA autopatch access code.
Remember that you key in the code AND the phone
number WITHOUT letting up on the PTT. You may
dial any number that begins with 835-, 838-, 450-,
480-, and 1 800-. Access to the 800 numbers is an
experiment intended to allow callers to access public
service toll-free numbers. If it is used to call local
mail order catalog distributors instead of for road
conditions, we may skin this cat another way. We
have no plans to enable 1 900- numbers.
- The Socorro Emergency Service number (911) is now
enabled. Simply key in '911' (the autopatch access
code is not required, although I think you can reach
the Emergency operator with the access code and
'911") and you will be connected to the City of
Socorro 911 operator. If the emergency you are
reporting is not in the City of Socorro, the operator
will connect you to the Socorro NM State Police
- Both autopatch calls will 'timeout' after 3 minutes or
after 60 seconds without an input to the repeater
receiver, whichever comes first. In the near future, I
will program the controller so that there is no timeout
for 911 calls as long as there is an input to the
receiver at least every 60 seconds.
- End your telephone session with either the traditional
"#3" or the "#" keys.
I received an email message from the designer of the
controller who informed me that the new ('better')
software should be ready to ship sometime around
3/7/98. What this means is that: 1) I'll be able to
program via phone and 2) all bets are off. Much of what
appears above may be subject to change.
I would like to thank you all for your patience during all
this, but as William Westmoreland said, "I can see the
light at the end of the tunnel." Hopefully it isn't a 100-
car freight headed right at us.
- I have not yet programmed the autodial numbers, but
when I do, they'll be the ones you've had all along.
I'll let you know when this has happened. If you
don't have an autodial number, but would like one,
let me know and I'll assign one.
- There is not now a "Touch Tone Pad Test." If you
would like to see if the controller detects any DTMF
tones, you can key "A" which will generate a DTMF
response. If you key "A06" it will prompt the ID
- There is neither a "patch reset" to redial nor is there
a "patch timer reset" at present.
I've disabled the "redial" feature on the autopatch. Come
to the March meeting prepared to discuss the options
related to this feature.
There is news related to the long silent 444.750
repeater. Jim and visited this machine on our trip up the
hill and discovered that winds had broken one let of the
AC on the transformer on the pole. The SEC has been
notified and that machine should be back on the air
within a few days. (Dave, KB5YIW)
New SARA URL
The URL for SARA's web page is changing. The new
address will be changing. The new address will be http://www.ees.nmt.edu/sara/homepage.html. The old address (on griffy) will continue to work indefinitely,
but to conform with the new practice, please make note
of the change, particularly when making reference to the
site in written or internet materials. Thank you.
Opening for Wordsmith
The May 1998 issue of the SARA Newsletter will be
my last as editor. If you have ever thought of giving
newsletter editing a whirl, this is your big chance. If you
have any questions about what is involved, get in touch
with me. There are no particular prerequisites, although
a computer, printer and a good word processor are pretty
important to the task. If you have access to the internet
and the time to surf amateur radio sites, it can be down
- March 14 - AZ Network Intertie Grp. & AR Council
of AZ (hamfest), Scottsdale, AZ. Daniel J. Meredith,
N7MRP; PO Box 45378, Phoenix, AZ 85064-5378;
- March 14-15 - West Texas Section Convention,
Midland, TX. Beverley Harwood, KC5BNT; 6100
SCR 1169, Midland, TX 79706; 915-686-1841; E-
mail: shamrockATapex2000.net; http://www.lx.net/edge/midswap.htm
- April 18 - Arizona ARC, Phoenix, AZ. George
Cooney, KQ7C; 21 East Coulter St., Phoenix, AZ
85012; 602-274-6212; E-mail: georgieATaztec.asu.edu
- April 25 - Albuquerque ARC & AR Caravan Club,
Albuquerque, NM. Chuck Opdyke, KC5GA; 505-
- May 2 - Cochise ARA & SE AZ Radio Society,
Sierra Vista, AZ. Ronald Slominski, KC7QXJ; 3701
East Yokut St., Sierra Vista, AZ 85635; 520-378-
- May 15-17, 1998 --- Dayton Hamvention
- July 24-26 - Arizona State Convention, Flagstaff,
AZ. Mark Kesauer, N7KKQ; PO Box 42003-312
Phoenix, AZ 85080-2003; 602-779-2722; Fax: 602-
439-4484; E-mail: arcathillATaol.com
- SARA's HF station at the clubhouse is available for
use by members. The keys to the facility may be
obtained from Al (AC5BX) or Sandy (KB5YIX) at
the Socorro Radio Shack. If you have questions
direct them to Al, Sandy, or to any of your officers.
- Visit SARA's home page at: http://www.ees.nmt.edu/sara/homepage.html
- Don't forget to tune into the weekly ARES net on
146.68 MHz, on Wednesdays at 8:00 pm local.
- The SARA slow code net is held Tuesdays at 8:00
pm on 28.228 MHz. Join in to improve your CW
- 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."
AMATEUR RADIO DIGEST
From the ARRL
Hams Help In West Coast Flooding - Amateur Radio
has been very active in the San Francisco area, assisting
emergency officials in coping with the disastrous effects
of heavy rains in recent days. ARRL San Francisco
Section Manager John Wallack, W6TLK, reports that
floods and mudslides have closed many roads and
isolated smaller communities, especially along the coast.
"With more rain forecast for this week, flooding along
the Russian River here in Sonoma County may enter a
second week," Wallack says. In six canyons along the
river, 400 homes are at risk of sliding down muddy
Hams have been stationed in the affected areas at
shelters and EOCs since the disaster started on February
3. In Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt and Marin counties
hams have also been active in supporting emergency
activities. Wallack says he worked at the Sonoma
County EOC February 6 and 7. "I had a chance to see
the excellent response by the emergency ham radio
teams in assisting emergency officials in responding to
the serious needs of our community," he said. "Amateur
Radio has again proved to be a valuable resource."
(Volume 17, Number 7; February 13, 1998)
FCC Computer System Back On Line - The FCC got
its errant Amateur Radio licensing computer system
back on line February 21 and began processing the
backlog of applications. The system went down
February 10, and no paper or electronic applications
were processed for nearly 11 days as FCC personnel in
Gettysburg attempted to troubleshoot the problems with
Gettysburg personnel first processed data submitted on
February 11 and 12 by VECs and had an updated file
available for the Internet call sign servers on February
21. Since the initial processing went well, VECs then
sent on the applications they'd been holding back at the
FCC's request. By February 26, it was business as usual.
Gettysburg had caught up with the backlog and ran a
batch of vanity applications, although a number of
applications remained in the work in process (WIPs)
The FCC offered no explanation for the computer
breakdown--its longest ever. The situation frustrated
those who have been hoping to learn their new call signs
or to check on updated licensing status. Call sign servers
on the Internet also were affected. The FCC apologized
to VECs for the inconvenience. (Volume 17, Number 9;
February 27, 1998)
SETI League annual meeting set - The SETI League
Inc will hold its fourth annual membership meeting and
a press briefing Sunday, March 29, 1998, starting at 2
PM Eastern Time, at the organization's headquarters in
Little Ferry, New Jersey. At the press briefing, SETI
League scientists will report on the progress of their
Project Argus search, launched just over two years ago.
The SETI League calls Project Argus--named after the
fictional search in the late Carl Sagan's 1985 novel,
Contact-- "perhaps the most ambitious radio astronomy
project ever undertaken without government equipment
Project Argus will deploy and coordinate
approximately 5000 small radiotelescopes around the
world in an all-sky survey for signals of possibly
intelligent extraterrestrial origin. For more information
or to join The SETI League, see http://www.setileague.org/ or send e-mail to
joinATsetileague.org or call toll-free 800-828-7384 (TAU
SETI). (Volume 17, Number 9; February 27, 1998)
Special Event Stations
- Hinckley, OH: Brunswick ARC, KB8ONI, 1300Z-
1830Z, Mar 15, Return of the Buzzards, General
portion of 20 40 10. Certificate. Dennis Krieger,
KB8ONI, 1751 W 130th St, Hinckley, OH 44233.
- Macon, GA: Macon ARC, W4BKM, 1500Z-2300Z
Mar 21, 16th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, SSB:
7.235 14.240 21.335 CW: 7.135. Certificate. Macon
ARC, Box 4862, Macon, GA 31208.
- Rutland, VT: Green Mountain WS, W1GMW,
1800Z-0100Z Mar 21, Commemorating Vermont's
admittance into the union, 3.950 7.200 14.290.
QSL. Green Mountain WS, Box 84, Rutland, VT
- Blacksburg, VA The Virginia Tech ARA, K4KDJ,
1700Z-2300Z Apr 4, 2nd Virginia Tech Alumni Net,
General 80-10 meter phone subbands. Certificate.
VTARA, 347 Squires Student Center, VPI&SU,
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0546.
- Gloucester, VA: Middle Peninsula ARC, W4HZL,
1300Z-2100Z Apr 4, Daffodil Festival, 7.237 14.237
21.370 28.370. QSL. Cater Clements, AD4VQ, Box
16 RT, Shacklefords, VA 23156.
- Louisville, KY: The Bullitt ARS, KY4KY, 1200Z
Apr 4 to 1200Z Apr 5, Boy Scout-A-Rama. All
bands. Certificate. Buddy Sohl, 1229 Zoneton Rd,
Shepherdsville, KY 40165.
- Vieques, PR: Cadena El Conquistador, Inc, NP3P,
1200Z Apr 17 to 2000Z Apr 19, Cultural Festival at
Fort Count Mirasol, 80-40 14.300 21.350 28.350.
Certificate. Cadena El Conquistador, Inc, PO Box
161, Fajardo, PR 00738.
- Fredericton, NB: Fredericton ARC, CF9ND, 1600Z
Apr 17 to 2200Z Apr 19, 150th Anniversary of
Fredericton, 3.764 7.126 14.171 21.247. Certificate.
David Hildebrand, 33 Robinson Dr, Fredericton,
NB, Canada E3A 1L7.
- Moline, IL: Mississippi Bend RS, KB9BNR, 1500Z
Apr 19 to 0000Z Apr 20, In remembrance of the
lives lost on the Titanic, 7.240 14.240 28.340
146.550. QSL. J.D. Mayfield, KB9BNR, 2205
Barnard Ct, Moline, IL 61265. (From the ARRL)
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 djohnsonATnmt.edu), 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 -
- President/Director Al Braun (AC5BX); 835-1061
- Past Pres./Director: Howard Peavey (K9PV); 835-9653
- V. Pres./Director: Bill Brundage (K8HUH); 835-3916
- Secretary/Director: Agnes Halls (KA5KIE); 835-4985;
- Treasurer/Director: Tom Frawley (KA0YYP); 835-3931
Dave Johnson, KB5YIW
SARA Newsletter Editor
1307 Lopezville Rd.
Socorro, NM 87801-4853