Socorro Amateur Radio
SARA Newsletter ----- "If it happens, it's news to us"
----- April, 1998
Report of the Nominating Committee
The nominating committee will make its report at the
April meeting. The bylaws make provisions for
additional nominations from the floor, before the
election of officers at the annual meeting in May.
Annual Meeting and Election of Officers
SARA’s annual meeting and election of officers is
scheduled for regular May meeting: Wednesday, May
13th at 7:30 pm. The meeting will take place in the
SARA clubhouse located at 704 5th Street, between
Manzanares and Abeyta. The official notice of the
annual meeting will accompany the May newsletter, at
least 15 days prior to the annual meeting. Eligible voters
will receive an alphabetically addressed, list of the
members entitled to vote at the ensuing election. This list
will be open to the examination by any member at the
Socorro Radio Shack Store for a period of at least ten
days before the annual meeting, and the list will be
available for inspection at the annual meeting. The
bylaws require that one-third of the current membership
of the organization entitled to vote, represented in person
or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum at the annual
meeting of members. A member proxy is included with
this newsletter, Using the proxy, you may assign your
voting responsibilities to another member or to a SARA
officer. A proxy is available and may be printed from
the SARA web page. If there is any chance that you will
be unable to attend the annual meeting, please fill out
and return a proxy to the address listed on this
A Personal Observation
For each of the last two years, I have served on the
nominating committee for upcoming SARA elections.
I’ve done so because I believe that an organization like
SARA deserves good leadership. Each year, this has
been an ultimately frustrating undertaking. On the face
of it there should be no problem finding folks to serve.
While membership has declined in the last two years,
there still are fifty-six paid members, of which forty-
three reside sufficiently close to Socorro (between
Polvadera and San Antonio, NM) to serve as officers.
Of these forty-three, eleven have served (most for more
than one term) as officers of the Association, leaving
thirty-two who should be prime candidates for
participation. Well, not exactly. While not every one of
those thirty-two soles was approached about their
willingness to serve as officers, of those who were
approached, one agreed to do so.
I understand that there are many reasons for
membership in an organization like SARA, and I don’t
mean to diminish the importance of any of these. Some
belong because an autopatch is cheaper than a cell phone
call. Probably the majority of members (including me)
were attracted because they like to have access to the
SARA repeaters. Others chase DX and don’t much care
about complicating a dialog with unnecessary things like
body language. Twenty percent of our membership isn’t
even within 2-meter simplex range of Socorro, being
either former Socorroans who have moved (far) away, or
friends and neighbors who like to support the efforts of
Socorro’s amateur radio operators. All these members
are very generous to the association, and to amateur
radio, with their annual financial contribution in the
form of their membership dues. May I respectfully
suggest that 10 bucks a year is not enough. We need
your active participation as well. New hams attracted by
easy access to VHF privileges (many among those other
34 members), need to be introduced to HF, packet, home
brewing, and QRP operations. The OMs, YLs and the
new Techs have a responsibility to come to a meeting on
occasion and to participate in both the decisions and
responsibilities of the association. While I don’t expect
to see the day when our elections are contested, I do
hope to see the day when those approached are willing
(even if reluctantly) to participate in the governance of
the association for a year or so. Think about it
NM ARRL Section Web Page
The New Mexico Section of the ARRL now has a web
page at: http://www.qsl.net/nmsac/. The site has section
information including: hamfests and conventions,
affiliated clubs, speakers bureau (coordinated by none
other than N1IRZ), traffic and local nets, and a listing of
Eastern NM ARC Web Page Moved
The web site for the Eastern New Mexico Amateur
Radio Club has changed to: http://www.users.swpc.net/ka5bat/enmarc.htm.
Opening for Wordsmith, Closed
You missed your big chance. Doug Staley (KC5RXI) will
begin editing the SARA Newsletter beginning with the June
edition. You’ve seen and appreciated Doug’s editing skills
before in the June 1997 SARA Newsletter.
Heathkit Virtual Museum
Visit the Heathkit Virtual Museum at: http://www.cyberventure.com/heathkit/default.html.
This site has pages devoted to hi-fi, amateur radio, and
other areas emphasized by the Heath company over the
- April 8, 1998 at 7:30 - SARA Monthly meeting.
This meeting will feature the report from the officer
nominating committee. 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).
- 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-
- April 25 - SARA VE Session - all exam elements
including code test. Mineral Science and
Engineering Complex rooms 101 and 103 on the
New Mexico Tech campus. Registration from 5:00
pm - 5:30 pm; Exam at 5:30 pm. Contact Kálmán
Oravecz (AJ5B) at (505) 835-5225 or email oraveczATnmt.edu.
- April 26 - Socorro Amateur Radio Association
Spring Riverfest, Socorro Riverine Parks.
- April 26 - Mesilla Valley Radio Club Bean Feed
Over the Horizon
- 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
- October 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday,
October 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - International
Hamfiesta Saturday, Ysleta Independent School
District's Cultural Arts Center El Paso, TX.
- 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
skills. Several of the SARA CW operators meet on
this frequency on other nights, usually beginning
around 8:30 pm local time.
- 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. No particular spot has
yet been selected as a replacement for Daylight
Donuts, but 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
Vanity fee to drop drastically - The fee to obtain an
Amateur Radio vanity call sign would drop drastically
under the FCC's proposed fiscal year 1998 fee schedule.
If adopted, the new fee will be $12.90 for the ten-year
term, payable at the time of application for a new,
renewal or reinstated license.
The new fee is contained in an FCC Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, MD Docket 98-36, Assessment
and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 1998,
released March 25.
The current vanity call sign fee is $50.00 for the ten-
year term. The FCC says it has no plans to refund the
difference between the current fee and the new fee for
applicants who submit applications before
implementation of the FY 1998 fee schedule.
The FCC has calculated the new fee based on an
expected 10,000 applicants during FY 1998.
The FCC says it will announce the effective date for
the new fee either in the Report and Order that
terminates the fee schedule rulemaking proposal or by a
public notice (ARRL Bulletin 25, April 3, 1998).
Spectrum Protection bill introduced - At the request of
the ARRL, a bill has been introduced in Congress to
ensure the availability of spectrum to Amateur Radio
operators. The bill, HR 3572, the Amateur Radio
Spectrum Protection Act of 1998, would protect existing
Amateur Radio spectrum against reallocations to or
sharing with other services unless the FCC provides
''equivalent replacement spectrum'' elsewhere. The bill
was introduced March 27 by Rep Michael Bilirakis of
Florida, a Republican, with the cosponsorship of Rep
Ron Klink of Pennsylvania, a Democrat.
If approved, the measure would amend Section 303
of the Communications Act of 1934 to preclude
reallocation of any primary Amateur Radio allocations
or diminution of any secondary allocations, and would
block any additional allocations within such bands that
would substantially reduce their utility to Amateur
Radio, unless the Commission at the same time provides
''equivalent replacement spectrum'' to the Amateur
The bill points out that a basic purpose of Amateur
Radio is to provide ''voluntary, noncommercial radio
service, particularly emergency communications,'' and
that Amateur Radio has ''consistently and reliably''
provided emergency communication during and after
disasters. The measure notes that the FCC has ''taken
actions which have resulted in the loss of at least 107
MHz of spectrum to radio amateurs.''
HR 3572 has been referred to the House Commerce
Committee. An effort is under way to enlist additional
cosponsors for the measure.
The full text of the bill is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c105:H.R.3572:
(ARRL Bulletin, March 30, 1998)
Major changes in Field Day rules - Some new rules go
into effect this year for Field Day. The popular
summertime operating event takes place each year on the
fourth full weekend in June. This year, it will be June
A major change this year is the elimination of bonus-
point credit for packet and VHF/UHF contacts. Field
Day stations no longer will be allowed to count contacts
via digipeaters, packet nodes, or similar arrangements.
Class 2A and higher Field Day stations still may operate
a ''free'' transmitter exclusively for VHF or UHF
operation (ie, above 50 MHz) without changing their
basic entry classification, but not for bonus points. ''It's
better than bonus points, and groups are likely to spend
more time on VHF and UHF because of that,'' predicted
ARRL Membership Services Manager Chuck
Hutchinson, K8CH. As in the past, crossband and
repeater contacts other than via satellite do not count for
Field Day credit.
Field Day stations now can earn point credit for
digital (ie, non-CW) contacts on each band. The phone,
CW, and non-CW digital segments are considered
separate ''bands'' in the Field Day rules. This means, for
example, that you now may work the same station for
point credit on 40 meters three times: once on SSB, once
on CW, and once on RTTY, packet, or one of the 'TOR
modes. SSB contacts count one point, and CW and non-
CW digital contacts count 2 points apiece, so adding
non-CW digital capability presents a real opportunity to
rack up substantial additional points. ''We're expecting
an interesting year because of the digital modes,''
The complete, official Field Day rules will appear in
the May edition of QST. Basic Field Day rules have
remained unchanged for several years now. The new
rules undoubtedly will generate a flurry of computerized
contest logging program revisions as developers
scramble to incorporate the changes into their software
(ARRL Bulletin 19, March 20, 1998).
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