Socorro Amateur Radio Association


SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- November 1998


THE OCTOBER MEETING

 

... was held on October 14th at 1935 hrs with 12 members in attendance. The main topic of discussion was the upcoming hamfest. The president adjourned the meeting at 2030 hrs. The next meeting will be held at 1930 hrs on November 11th.

Minutes of Meeting---

The following are excerpts from the minutes of the October meeting:

SARA NEWS

 Hamfest ---

The 1998 SARA/TARA Hamfest is history. This year we were blessed with wonderful weather and a reasonably large crowd. Although there were quite a few tables open inside the gym, there were ~20 folks that set up tailgating outside. Initial indications are that we did better than break even this year. Thanks go to those SARA/TARA members and friends who helped out with the setup, takedown and conduct of the event. You did well.

Repeater User Commands ---

Copy and carry.

 User CMD

Function

*

1

0

0

CTCSS decode on

#

1

0

0

CTCSS decode off (carrier only)

*

No.

Autopatch access

*

1

8

No.

Autopatch access

*

*

AD no.

Autodial

#

Telephone on hook

#

3

Telephone on hook

*

9

4

Prompt ID

9

1

1

Socorro Emergency Services

1

2

3

State Police (Socorro)

*

*

My AD number

 

Repeater Report ---

During the month of August, several autopatch/autodial users experienced frustration while making calls. If the party being called did not pick up the phone on the first or second ring, the patch was automatically terminated. This was prompted by the RX timeout delay (then set at 30-seconds) for the autopatch. I've now doubled that to 60 seconds, which in testing provided at least ten rings before timing out. If you want to reset this timer (for another 15 rings), key up your transmitter momentarily after the first four or five rings. Transmitting the single DTMF tone '#' terminates all autopatch/autodial calls.

It was a relatively quiet weekend, but I still managed to inconvenience a few folks on October 17th-18th while exploring the capabilities of our Pacific Research controller. First among these were Clarence (AA5RH) and Matt (KI5WR) who couldn't keep their nightly "sched" because I was trying different combinations of PL tones for access to the repeater. I apologize. On the other hand, you can't make an omelet without breaking an egg.

The '911' access has been improperly enabled for the last couple months. After reconfiguring it, I'm a little more confident that keying your transmitter and sending the DTMF tones '911' will now get you Socorro Emergency Services. While I'm on the topic of testing the autopatch, please let me know if the 450- and 480- exchanges work with the autopatch. I think they are programmed correctly, but know of no numbers to use to test these. You may now call the Socorro Office of the New Mexico State Police using the DTMF sequence '123'. For those of you who are members of the URFMS, this should be familiar. On URFMS repeaters, '123' connects you to the Albuquerque State Police Office. The autopatch time out for emergency service calls has been extended from 3 to 10 minutes.

One popular feature enabled on the last version of the controller software was the tone access on/off option. That option is back. Transmit the DTMF tones '#100' and the controller will no longer require a PL tone for access. You do not need a tone for the controller to receive and decode user codes. The controller should signal this change with the Morse message 'NO PL'. When you have completed your QSO, you may return the repeater to PL access with the DTMF tones '*100', which will be signaled with the Morse, message 'PL'. Alternatively, the controller will automatically return the repeater to tone only access after a period of 10 minutes when there is no activity on the receiver. If the receiver is experiencing one of its periods of high intermod, it can be important that you manually reset the PL tone access. You can now 'prompt' the repeater ID with the DTMF string '*94'. I know I'm reaching here, but the letter 'I' is the ninth and 'D' is the fourth letter of the alphabet.

Several of our newer members may not know that paid members qualify for one or more of the SARA autodial slots. With four keystrokes (**nn), you can call the Socorro exchange number of your choice. Get 'em while they are hot! You may initiate your request for an autodial slot via email (djohnsonATnmt.edu), phone (835-1432; leave a message) or FAX (835-5476).

I've left to last an announcement regarding a change of policy regarding PL access to the SARA repeater. Although we have indicated that a 100 Hz tone was required for access, we have until now accommodated any PL tone. That will change on the morning of Sunday, November 15, 1998 when a single PL tone of 100 Hz will be required for accessing the SARA repeater. Using this date will permit us to get the word out not only by this newsletter, but also at the SARA Hamfest and the November SARA meeting. Soon thereafter (as another reward) the current ID string (KC5OLJ/R 100 Hz PL) will be shortened by half (to KC5OLJ/R; wasn't someone working on a 2x1 call for SARA?).

Preliminary agreement has been reached between the Socorro Electric Co-op and SARA for use of the SEC radio building on Davenport Mtn. This structure would house a SARA repeater in western New Mexico. Final agreement must include the company doing maintenance for the SEC. Dave (KB5YIW).

Upcoming Events---

Over The Horizon---

Nets---

Gatherings---

 

AMATEUR RADIO DIGEST

 From the ARRL ---

 FCC Issues Universal Licensing System Rules - The FCC has issued its long-awaited Report and Order on the Universal Licensing System, which affects all Wireless Telecommunications Bureau licensees. Among other things, the ULS will result in replacing Amateur Radio's familiar FCC Form 610 series with a new Form 605. The new rules become official 60 days after publication in The Federal Register-sometime around the end of the year. Ö Using the ULS, applicants and licensees will be able to file, modify, and renew electronically. Access to the ULS is via http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls/.

As part of its Report and Order on the ULS, the FCC also issued amended rules (in WT Docket 96-188) to authorize visiting foreign hams to operate in the US pursuant to recent international reciprocal operating agreements. ''We conclude that all alien amateur radio reciprocal operation should be authorized by rule,'' the FCC said. This means that foreign hams holding a CEPT radio-amateur license from a CEPT country or an International Amateur Radio Permit issued by a participating CITEL country may operate while visiting the US without having to apply for permission. Additionally, it will be easier for US hams to operate in participating countries in Europe and the Americas. The authority would not extend to US citizens claiming second citizenship and an amateur license from another country, however.

The FCC stood by its plan to use certain eligible private-sector entities, on a strictly voluntary basis, to issue club and military recreation station call signs. The FCC said it plans to accept the services of any qualified organizations to issue club and military recreation call signs.

Both text and formatted versions of the complete Report and Order, WT Dockets 98-20 and 96-188, are available on the FCC Web site, http://www.fcc.gov (ARRL Bulletin 87, October 22, 1998).

SARA Web Site---

SARAís Web Page is located at - http://www.ees.nmt.edu/sara/homepage.html on the internet. The SARA web page is maintained by Dave, KB5YIW, and contains past copies of SARA Newsletters, calendar of events, latest and greatest ARRL news, club events, and links to other Ham related web pages. Next time your surfing the net...give us a visit.

Submissions to SARA Newsletter---

All contributions related to amateur radio will be considered for publication in the SARA Newsletter. Text should be of general interest to the readers and be 200 - 300 words in length. Each month ads from SARA members to buy, sell or trade may be included. Items must be ham-related. Materials for publication will be included on a space available basis: first come, first serve, and at the discretion of the editor. To be assured of consideration for the next newsletter, material must be received by the 25th of the month. Submissions in the form of DOS ASCII files would be preferred. E-mail is good (to domarATrt66.com), snail mail to PO Box 132, Lemitar, NM 87823. Telephone inquires will be received at 835-2720 (not home...leave a message). Sorry no Fax. (D. Staley - editor).

SARA Officers---

Editorís Corner---

Doug Staley approached me at the end of this year's hamfest and asked if I could throw a newsletter together. This is it. (Dave, KB5YIW)