Socorro Amateur Radio
SARA Newsletter ----- "If it happens, it's news to us"
----- May, 1998
Report of the Nominating Committee
The nominating committee reported selections for each
of the SARA elected positions that will be voted on at
the May Meeting. These nominations appear in the
Abstract of the Minutes for the April SARA Meeting
Annual Meeting and Election of Officers
The bylaws of the Socorro Amateur Radio Association
require that each eligible voter be informed of the
Annual Meeting not less than ten nor more than 50 days
before the date of the meeting. This constitutes that
notification. The meeting will take place in the SARA
clubhouse located at 704 5th Street, between
Manzanares and Abeyta. In addition, a list of eligible
voters is attached. This list will also be available at the
Socorro Radio Shack for inspection before the meeting.
To be eligible to vote, memberships must be recorded 30
days prior to the annual meeting. One-third of the
membership eligible to vote must be represented in person or
by proxy. If you are not certain that you will be present at the
annual meeting, please complete and return a proxy to: Al
Braun, 722 N. California St., Socorro, NM 87801.
WB5QZD Repeater Adopts New PL Tone
The WB5QZD (444.275 MHz) Repeater has changed the
PL tone required for access to 100 Hz. The old tone
(127.3 Hz) was change to the new 100 Hz tone so that it
will conform to the PL tone used on the 146.68 MHz
A Word from the President
Well, my first year as president is just about over. It is time to
thank all of those individuals who have kept disaster at bay,
and made being president possible. The club officers, Bill,
Agnes, and Tom; Felix for his work on field day; Bill,
Kalman, a couple of Daves, Howard, Chuck, some Jims, John
and all the others who worked so hard to make the hamfest
work; John for organizing the Christmas dinner; and anyone
else that I forgot.
This month we are going to hold a VE session, followed
by a picnic. Plans are being laid now.
Hope to see most of you at the May meeting (Al -
Virtual Collins Radio Museum
Visit the Virtual Collins Radio Museum at: http://www.wa3key.com/collins.html. This site has
pages devoted to amateur radio equipment produced by
Collins Radio over the years.
"New" Newsletter Editor Takes Reigns
This marks my last newsletter as editor. The next
edition will be put together by Doug Staley (KC5RXI).
Many of you will recall that a year ago, Doug edited the
June Newsletter during my annual sabbatical, and did a
great job. I know that he will continue to do so as the
My "retirement" from editing doesn't mean that
SARA members won't be hearing from me. I plan to
continue my responsibilities as one of the control
operators of the SARA 146.68 repeater. There should be
regular newsletter reports related to that repeater, and
others planned for the area. In addition, I will continue
to be webmaster for the SARA homepage. In my
copious free time, I might even sit down to the computer
to use Super Morse instead of this word processor. I've
enjoyed serving as editor for the last two years,
particularly because I am convinced that SARA's
members are a pretty special breed. It has been an honor
to run with the bunch.
- We welcome Bill Lorang, of Socorro, as a new
member of the association.
- 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 Kalman
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
- 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 5 --- ARRL/VEC Session; Peter H DeWolf;
505-299-4128; Albuquerque, NM 87111
- May 11 --- W5YI-VEC session; Gerald Sherman
AA5DI 505-454-8961, Las Vegas, NM 87701
- May 12 --- VE Session; Novice-Technician-Tech
Plus Only; Eubank Elementary School, 5:30PM
cafeteria - enter east parking lot; 9717 Indian School
Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111. Contact: Peter
H DeWolf KB5HRS; 505-299-4128
- May 13, 1998 at 7:30 - SARA Annual Meeting. This
meeting will feature the election of SARA officers
for the coming year. 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).
- May 15-17, 1998 --- Dayton Hamvention
- May 16 at 8:00 am --- SARA Highway Cleanup;
meet at Socorro Chamber of Commerce.
- May 19 --- ARRL/VEC Session; Michael Smith
K0CCM; 505-672-1007; Los Alamos, NM 87544
Over the Horizon
- June 6 --- VE Session; Novice-Technician-Tech Plus
Only; Eubank Elementary School, 5:30PM; cafeteria
- enter east parking lot; 9717 Indian School Road
NE Albuquerque, NM 87111. Contact: Peter H
DeWolf KB5HRS; 505-299-4128
- July 11 --- Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Trip; Special Event operation (K5T) on the train
from Antonito, CO to Chama, NM. Contact Jim
Ferry, KI0HR (907) 731-9409
- 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
- September 18 - 20 --- Socorro Fat Tire Fiesta,
- September 19 & 20 --- Duke City Hamfest; New
location this year: National Guard Armory near
Bernalillo. E-mail dchfATqsl.net for more
- 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
News from Newsline
T-Hunting Special - Part 2 - And finally, some hams
think that finding hidden transmitters is one of the
greatest thrills in ham radio. The CQ VHF National
Foxhunting Weekend, April 25 and 26. "Hidden
transmitter hunts in the USA have traditionally involved
cars, trucks or vans full of direction finding gear, roaring
off for miles of fun. But the folks in China, Korea, Japan
and many countries of Europe such as Belgium and
Sweden, well, they think we're sissies. To them, a ham
radio foxhunt involves a couple of hours of running
through thick forest, using hand-held direction finding
sets to seek out five to seven one-watt transmitters.
It's not unusual to have to run or walk three to five
miles to punch your ticket at all the transmitters, or
"foxes" as they call them. It's a sport for all ages, fit and
not-so-fit. They even have national and world
championships, the last World Championship was
September 1997 in Germany.
Competitors are grouped into age and gender
categories, and there are medals for individual and
national team winners. Just like the Olympics, right?
Well, European and Asian foxhunting leaders would
indeed like to see it become an Olympic sport. And they
would also like it if hams in North and South America
would get more involved. Next week, I'll tell you about
upcoming opportunities for that to happen.
Meantime, consider an international-style foxhunt for
one of your activities during the National Foxhunting
Weekend. For more information, see the April issue of
CQ VHF magazine and my Web site, which you can
access by link from the Amateur Radio Newsline site."
Joe Moell, K0OV.
Be here next week for the conclusion of Joe's 3 part
series. (Newsline #1078 - 4/10/98)
From the ARRL
Alabama Tornadoes Bring Out The Best In Hams -
What's being described as the worst weather of its type
in many years brought out the best in Alabama's ham
radio community this past week. The evening of April 8,
1998, became one for the record books as tornadoes
touched down in central Alabama leaving death and
destruction in their wake. Upwards of three dozen people
died, and many were left homeless. "To say the least, it
was a long night," said Alabama Section Manager Scott
Johnson, N4YYQ, of Vincent. "The hams here did a
As the severe weather approached, dozens of hams
spent hours on weather-spotting nets assisting the
National Weather Service in tracking the storms and
relaying reports of damage, hail, injuries and relief
operations. David Black, KB4KCH, president of the
Alabama Emergency Response Team (ALERT) and an
ARRL PIO says hams were on the air well ahead of the
actual tornadoes. As the "long night" wore on, mobile
and stationary spotters on the West Alabama Emergency
Net and the Alabama Emergency Net on HF checked in
with weather spots, damage assessments, and injury
reports. As needed, hams were assigned to assist with
Red Cross shelters opened to house tornado victims. A
second repeater was activated to handle damage reports.
Lisa Wallace, KF4C, in Tuscaloosa, served as liaison on
the unofficial net and assisted in passing traffic from the
West Alabama Emergency Net to the Birmingham NWS
office and the Tuscaloosa Red Cross.
ALERT members activated the well-equipped ham
station at the National Weather Service office in
Birmingham. As former Alabama SM and current ARRL
Alabama District 8 DEC Tom Moore, KL7Q, explains,
the station has VHF/UHF capability to access remote
bases for linking to various repeaters--and local
SKYWARN nets--in the region. Those attempting to
track the weather on the ground gathered information not
only via ham radio nets but via an Internet/packet radio
gateway developed by hams in Alabama. The digital
Internet/packet gateway has an extensive wide-area
dedicated RF node network and provides hard copy of
severe weather bulletins, exchange of storm and damage
reports, and keyboard-to-keyboard contact with
supporting SKYWARN groups. Johnson said the
keyboard-to-keyboard aspect worked especially well and
helped to relieve voice traffic congestion.
"The more I watched this system, the more impressed
I became with it," he said. He's hoping other Alabama
counties can be convinced to adopt a similar approach.
Weather service meteorologist Brian Peters,
WD4EPR, said hams often were first with important
storm-related information. "They were absolutely great,"
he said. "We couldn't have done it without them." Peters
classified the storm as an F5--the most violent category.
Winds were estimated in excess of 200 miles per hour.
SKYWARN groups elsewhere in Alabama--including
the capital city of Montgomery and in Northern
Alabama--also were active as the severe weather ripped
TV meteorologist James Spann, WO4W, had words
of praise for his fellow hams. "I thought the watch and
warning process was just flawless," he said. Peters,
Spann and others agreed that spreading the word quickly
on the approaching danger saved many lives, and hams
deserve at least part of the credit.
Black says that, at one point, 14 Alabama counties
were under tornado warnings at the same time.
Tornadoes touched down in the Edgewater community
west of Birmingham, damaging homes and other
structures. More than 30 people died in Jefferson County
alone, and the funnel cloud even threatened downtown
Birmingham at one point. A tornado also caused heavy
damage in western Tuscaloosa and St Clair counties,
where others also lost their lives. Johnson said St Clair
County ARES/RACES members assisted emergency
services personnel and "probably did 90% of the damage
assessment" in the county. Johnson says Mark Oglesby,
KF4NLZ, left his home during the storm on a damage
assessment foray only to return and find his own home
gone in the tornado's wake.
As the extent of the damage became clear, hams in
Birmingham were called upon to provide
communication backup at Red Cross shelters set up for
storm victims. More than a dozen shelters remained
open a week later. Johnson says members of the HEART
Net were very active in western Jefferson County
providing shelter communication and other help as
needed. Fortunately, Birmingham's repeaters remained
on the air and got heavy emergency use. Hams also
helped provide communication between responding
agencies and volunteers searching for victims and
assessing the damage from the violent weather.
Robert "RB" West, W4BAT, who lives near
Montgomery and away from the disaster area, lent a
hand to the Salvation Army in the storms' wake. "They
are swamped with work in Birmingham," he said, "so, I
gave a little help here at the Montgomery center." West
said he worried about the Montgomery area as the
storms approached, and he tuned to a local weather
spotters' net. "I had no idea what was going on 100 miles
north," he said. In the stricken zones, the Salvation Army
has set up feeding centers and has been relying on hams
for some logistical support.
Black passed along tales of personal heroism on the
part of some amateurs. Some examples: Janice Rock,
KF4PVR, Ricky Rock, KF4RRS, and Joel Booth,
KF4PWA--all ALERT members and all Emergency
Medical Technicians--responded and helped carry a man
with a head injury nearly a quarter mile through a thicket
of fallen trees to an ambulance. Lacking a stretcher, they
used a door they found to carry the victim. After hours
on the SKYWARN nets, Bill Heaton, KE4FBH, went
around delivering water and food to victims who had not
eaten all day. Walter Cooney, KF4AAG, was stationed
at the Birmingham-Jefferson County EMA headquarters
and became the point man for a heavy load of damage
reports passed via 2 meters. Many other hams assumed
less epic roles and just pitched in as needed with the
work at hand.
Disaster officials called the destruction some of the
worst they'd ever seen. Vice President Al Gore and
President Clinton also have visited the disaster scene.
Hams are expected to remain available to help as the
long recovery process continues in Alabama. --thanks to
David Black, KB4KCH, Tom Moore, KL7Q, Scott
Johnson, N4YYQ, and others (Volume 17, Number 16;
April 17, 1998)
1.2 GHZ Threat - The ARRL has learned that the
second civilian frequency for the global positioning
system (GPS) could wind up within Amateur Radio's
secondary allocation at 1.2 GHz. A decision on whether
the new, second frequency will be 1205 or 1250 MHz is
expected to be made in August. An allocation at 1250
MHz could mean the end of Amateur Radio in the band
1240 to 1260 MHz. The Amateur Radio 23-cm band
runs from 1240 to 1300 MHz.
In February 1997, the Department of Transportation
(DOT) and the Department of Defense (DOD)
announced an agreement assuring civilian GPS users of
a second frequency--referred to as L5 and considered
essential for critical civilian GPS uses. According to a
DOD news release, the White House Commission on
Aviation Safety and Security, chaired by Vice President
Al Gore, "called for the establishment of a second civil
frequency as part of a broader program to maintain US
leadership in aviation and satellite technology."
For more information, see http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Feb1997/b022797_bt0
95-97.html. (Volume 17, Number 16; April 17, 1998)
Abstract of the Minutes for the April SARA
- Jim (WB5GWH) reports that the
filter for the repeater receiver is on back order with
- Jim discussed acquisition of the former call sign of
Bob Mitchell for use as the SARA club call sign.
He will contact Bob's wife, Norma.
- In response to our request for a VHF frequency pair
for a new repeater, Chuck Raskob (KC5AYV; NM
Frequency Coordinator) has asked that SARA
recommend a pair. Oty will recommend 147.02+.
- Dave (N1IRZ) noted that the ARRL NM Section
page now includes information for a Speakers
Bureau. Dave is accumulating speaker info for the
- Keith Hayes of NOAA in Albuquerque would like to
offer another storm spotter session in Socorro this
Spring. A date and location (at Tech?) will be
- Felix (W5BX) discussed possible sites for the SARA
Spring Picnic. Felix and Clarence (AA5RH) will
finalize the site. Dave (N1IRZ) moved and Jim
(WB5GWH) seconded that the picnic be held at 1:00
pm on Sunday, April 26th. Chef Jon (KC5NTW) will
arrive at noon to start grilling. Helpers will be
- Kalman (AJ5B) asked that a notice, separate from
any announcement of the picnic, appear to inform
the public of the VE session scheduled for April 25th.
Felix said that TARA will bring an HF rig to the
picnic and that we should have the SARA rig there
- Al (AC5BX) has made initial contact with Nick at
Sarricino Middle School regarding using that site for
the next hamfest. Al will ask Nick for a
commitment on November 7 date. Dave (KB5YIW
will check on the availability of the Tech gym on
- Dave (KB5YIW) presented the recommendations of
the Nominating Committee. Nominees are:
President - Al Braun (AC5BX); Vice President -
Kalman Oravecz (AJ5B); Treasurer - Paul Rhodes
(N5YGC); Secretary - Agnes Halls (KA5KIE);
Director - Dave Johnson (KB5YIW). The slate was
presented and accepted as nominees for the May 13th
Annual Meeting. Additional nominations will be
entertained at that meeting.
- Jon (KC5NTW), ably assisted by Jim
(WB5GWH), is in charge of the semiannual trash pickup
of the SARA mile on Interstate 25. The Spring event is
scheduled for May 16th with assembly at the Socorro
Chamber at 8:00 am.
- The Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm on a motion
by Paul (N5YGC), seconded by Jim (WB5GWH).
- 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