A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club September 1997

President Report:
Hello Again: Hope everyone has had a great Summer. It is just about gone, and Fall is heading our way.

We hope to have VE exams on Saturday September 20th at 12 Noon on the MCC campus. Spread the word and maybe we can have some upgrades or new HAMS. 73's Dennis KI5FW

Vice President Report:
The dog days of summer are about over. Hope after the heat is gone and summer vacations are through, we will cool off and have a better attitude toward our brother and sister hams.

Saturday afternoon Aug 30, KB5DKW (Ron) KC5OJS (Wes) and W5OQY (CP) provided communications for the Handicapped Benefit Horse Show and events at Russell Riding Arena. It was hot, but no emergencies. Hard to find anyone to help out. We had fun and need this kind of service projects . Hope next time more people will show up. Thanks to those who came.

Anyone that has a topic of interest to bring up at our monthly business or has a want for some information, please let some of us know. It's your club and each of us can make it better. Don't wait for someone else to do your part. Fishing is still great. 73's and 88's W5OQY

Secretary Report:
Don't forget to check into the Tuesday evening 2-meter net at 7 P.M. each week on 146.700. Any announcements, emergency traffic, or a simple hello and 73 can be passed along to others. Let us know how you are doing.


The long wait is over for Advanced class amateurs. The FCC has opened filing Gate 3 of the Vanity Call Sign Program as of Wednesday, August 6, 1997. Advanced class hams will be able to apply for a call sign appropriate to their license class on or after that date. Applicants must file either a paper FCC Form 610V or electronically via the FCC's Web site and pay the current $30 fee.

The August 6 deadline squeaks under the implementation of the FCC's new fiscal year 1997 fee schedule, adopted June 16. Under the FY 97 schedule, which becomes effective September 16, 1997, the vanity application fee will jump to $50 a year. The ARRL had asked the FCC to suspend implementation of the higher FY 1997 fee until after the remaining gates have been opened and applicants had an opportunity to file under the old schedule. The FCC's response, buried within the Report and Order adopting the higher fees, suggests the FCC could also be planning to open Gate 4 fairly soon. "We expect our remaining vanity call sign 'gates' to open before the effective date of our FY 1997 regulatory fee payment requirement," the FCC said in turning down the request for a delay. But, the FCC added that applicants "are expected to pay the fee applicable at the time they file." The bottom line is that hams applying for a vanity call sign on or after September 15 must pay the $50 fee.

Payment of fees may be made by check (payable to FCC), bank draft, money order or credit card. If paying by credit card, you must also complete and submit FCC Form 159 with your FCC Form 610V. Do not send cash. Send your application package to: Federal Communications Commission, Amateur Vanity Call Sign Request, Box 358924, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5924

If you file a paper application, remember that legibility is critical! If your application is not able to be deciphered easily by FCC personnel, you could experience a delay in processing, lose the opportunity to obtain a requested call sign or even obtain a call sign different from what you want. Be sure to include your current Amateur Radio call sign on your vanity application.

Under Gate 3, you must hold an unexpired Advanced class operator/primary station license to request a vanity call sign for your primary station. To request a vanity call sign for a club station under Gate 3, you must also hold an unexpired club station license grant listing you as the license trustee. Applicants should refer to the licensee database to verify that a requested call sign is not already assigned. A call sign is normally assignable two years following license expiration, surrender, revocation, set aside, cancellation, void ab initio, or death of the grantee.

Using Form 610V or its on-line electronic equivalent, applicants may request up to 25 call signs in the order of preference. The first assignable call sign on the list will be the one the FCC assigns. Remember: When requesting a call sign under Gate 3 for your primary or club station, the call sign must have been unassigned for at least two years. As an Advanced class operator, you may request a call sign only from groups B, C or D.

Any call sign requested must be one designated for the region of your mailing address.

If you file before the opening date or do not qualify under the Gate 3 eligibility standards, your application will be dismissed. General, Technician Plus, Technician, and Novice class operators will become eligible to request vanity call signs under Gate 4. The FCC has not indicated when it plans to open Gate 4.

For further information, contact the Consumer Assistance Branch at 800-322-1117 or call the FCC's National Call Center, 888-225-5322 (CALL FCC). ARRL Letter

FCC reminder: The FCC is warning companies that offer to modify scanning receivers (this includes many H-Ts with extended receive coverage) in order to receive cellular telephone frequencies that this activity prohibited by federal law and FCC rules. The FCC's reminder, issued July 10, noted that scanning receivers must be FCC-certified and incapable of "readily being altered by the user" to pick up the cellular bands. "The modification of scanners on a substantial scale to receive cellular frequencies will be considered to constitute manufacture of such equipment" in violation of federal law and FCC rules, the Public Notice said. "Entities engaged in such activity are cautioned to cease advertising and/or performing any such activity immediately."

What is a leap second? A leap second is one second added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to make UTC agree with astronomical time to within 0.9 second. UTC is based on the performance of atomic clocks. Astronomical time is based on the rate of rotation of the earth. Since atomic clocks are more stable than the rate at which the earth rotates, leap seconds are needed to keep the two time scales in agreement. The first leap second occurred on June 30, 1972. Although it is possible to have a negative leap second (a second removed from UTC), so far, all leap seconds have been positive (a second has been added to UTC). Based on what we know about Earth's rotation, it is unlikely that we will have a negative leap second in the foreseeable future. -- National Institute of Standards and Technology. ARRL Letter

If a man speaks in the forest and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?


Redneck Hams

You might be a redneck ham if you think:

CW means corn whiskey.
SSB means slaw, salsa and beer.
Packet is what you do before a fishin trip.
Doublet is what you do with a bet.
Dipole is a fishing tackle belonging to the princess.
Ground plane is an implement for smoothing the soil.
Radial is what you use to listen to Hank Williams Jr.
Copper Wire (war) is a feud over mineral rights.
Tower, (tar) is the black stuff used to pave roads.
Antenna is your uncle's wife.
Circuit Board displays the current standings at the race track.
Tuner is a salt water fish.
Ham is half a hog's rear end.

Have a great month

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